Kai Sotto’s latest journey in his dream of making the NBA will take him to Australia after signing with the Adelaide 36ers of the National Basketball League.
Sotto’s camp led by East West Private and the 36ers made the announcement Wednesday, April 21, in a move that will give the 7-foot-3 youngster high-level competition before entering the 2022 NBA Draft.
Both announcements were made minutes after Shams Charania, an NBA writer for The Athletic, broke the news through his Twitter account.
He’ll head Down Under not only with a chance to redeem himself following his G-League exit, but also boost his stock before he can enter the NBA Draft next year.
The NBA prohibits Sotto from joining this year due to a rule that only allows players to enter the Draft one year after graduating from high school. Sotto completed his studies just last month in Ohio.
“I’m very excited because it’s a different kind of competition, different place and different style of play,” Sotto said in a virtual event focused mainly on his new role as new brand ambassador of Smart.
Sotto is taking the route of Charlotte Hornets rookie LaMelo Ball, who played one season in Australia for the Illawara Hawks before being selected No. 3 overall in the 2020 Draft.
But whether the NBL stint can translate into Sotto’s name being called in the Draft will be known once he gets to play for the 36ers.
Adelaide said Sotto will join later this year when the club starts preparation for the 2021-22 NBL season which could tip off in October, depending on the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are delighted to welcome Kai, both to the Club and the City of Adelaide,” 36ers chairman Grant Kelley said. “Attracting a player of Kai’s potential from Asia, and more recently the United States, to Adelaide will only enhance the Club’s reputation for identifying and developing elite basketball talent.”
The 36ers currently sit seventh out of nine teams in the ongoing 2020-21 NBL season with a 10-14 record.