Kai Sotto’s dream of making it to the NBA will have to wait.
The Filipino center’s name was not called during the recently concluded 2022 NBA Draft, failing to become the first homegrown talent to be selected. Sotto was hoping to be one of the 58 players drafted on Friday but the 7-foot-3 big man did not make the cut.
“I really worked hard and really did my best to get here but it’s what happened. I believe God has better plans for me…. I won’t stop,” Sotto shared in a News5 interview.
After gaining experience playing professionally in the Australian National Basketball League, Sotto participated in workouts with several NBA teams leading up to the draft.
“The dream is always the NBA. I’ll do whatever it takes to get better, to get stronger, to improve. This is just a speed bump. We didn’t get the plan A but we got a plan B and it’s not gonna stop me,” Sotto said. “This is not a signal for me to stop but for me to keep on going.”
All is not lost for the 20-year-old NBA hopeful as he will now have to take a longer route to get to the league. He can still be signed by any team on a rookie deal or a two-way contract at any point in the upcoming season.
“I’m still always thankful for all the support I can get from my fellow Filipinos,” Sotto said. “I’m just happy na whatever happens they’re always there for me. I just feel like I let a lot of people down. I will always remember this feeling na ganun para next time I will always do my best to have a chip on my shoulder every time I step on the court.”
Filipino-Americans Remy Martin and Ron Harper Jr. were also left undrafted but the latter was able to get a two-way deal with the Toronto Raptors.