The 6-foot-9 Kai Sotto has landed on the Ateneo Blue Eaglets’ nest.
No other than his father, former PBA player Ervin Sotto confirmed the development to FOX Sports during the National Training Camp of the Jr. NBA/WNBA program over the weekend.
“In our best interest, we go to Ateneo,” said the older Sotto while waiting for his son’s game on Sunday.
Barring no complication in the entrance exam, the 13-year old towering kid will be moving from St. Francis of Assisi School in Las Piñas to the Katipunan-based Ateneo next school year.
He will definitely add ceiling to the Blue Eaglets, who failed to defend their UAAP Juniors crown this season.
“He brings a presence on defense and some versatility on offense. But the best thing he brings is his youth. There are a lot of things he can learn and he can be taught,” said Blue Eaglets coach Joe Silva in a text message, noting that he can play for 5 full years in the UAAP.
Sotto, who refused to name the other big schools who tried to recruit his son, cited Ateneo’s good academic program as their top consideration when he and his wife, Pamela, decided where they will entrust their kid’s future.
“Ang basketball alam natin maganda yung future pero after nun, anong gagawin mo sa na-invest mo, doon papasok yung academics mo,” said the former PBA player.
“Madaming school dito sa Pilipinas na maganda yung basketball program, pero mas pinili namin yung Ateneo kasi yung academics maganda,” he added, who also revealed that Kai started practicing already days after taking the admission test.
Although receiving e-mails after Kai made waves in the social media, Ervin clarified that there were no legitimate invitations from US schools to get the services of his son.
“Para sa akin, hindi naman talaga seryoso na pupuntahan ka dito, at kakausapin ka,” he said.
Sotto also recognized that Kai is still young to be pressured already on chasing the NBA dream.
As a father, he thinks that the best way for his kid to fly high and reach his NBA dream is to play for the country.
“Pinakamagandang first step para makilala ka is maglaro ka para sa bansa natin,” he advised Kai. “Maganda yung naglalaro ka na (mayroong) pride as a Filipino, nagcocompete ka tapos natututo ka kasi yung kalaban mo magagaling din.” – By Jason Mercene
Follow this writer on Twitter: @JasonMercenePH