Photo credit: Kai Sotto/Twitter
Following his highly-publicized exit with NBA G-League Team Ignite, Kai Sotto has found a new home Down Under. The player, aptly nicknamed Kaiju, is taking his baller skills to Australia! Sotto signed a multi-year deal with the Adelaide 36ers from the Australian National Basketball League (NBL). The 36ers also confirmed the signing on their social media account.
Photo credit: Adelaide36ers/Twitter
By joining a world-class franchise like Adelaide, he now has a terrific opportunity on his hands. The 36ers, who are a four-time NBL champions, are looking for some new blood following a 12-16 record in their last campaign. The 7’2” slotman will join an Adelaide core consisting of Brandon Paul, Tony Crocker, and Josh Giddey, among others.
Pinoy basketball fans never lost hope that Kai Sotto would carry on his journey toward repping his Filipino roots in the NBA. While the safest route to joining the NBA is to remain in the United States, the NBL has become another option for young stars before making the leap to the best basketball league in the world.
Australian athletes such as Joe Ingles and Patty Mills both started in the NBL before becoming solid role players in the NBA.
Last year’s third overall pick of the NBA Draft, LaMelo Ball, even skipped college and suited up for the Illawarra Hawks in the NBL. His stock rose significantly following his NBL stint and he’s currently the frontrunner for Rookie of The Year Honors.
While it remains to be seen if Sotto can follow the same path as the Charlotte Hornets rookie, this is definitely a step in the right direction for the Kaiju.
It is also worth noting that the 36ers franchise has a good relationship with Philippine basketball, as they played in several exhibition games in the country against Gilas Pilipinas back in 2019.
Do you think Kai Sotto will thrive with the 36ers in the NBL?