Kai Sotto declares for 2022 NBA Draft

Published April 28, 2022, 12:59 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Kai Sotto has finally declared for the 2022 NBA Draft after suiting up for one season with the Adelaide 36ers in Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL).

Kai Sotto (Photo from Adelaide 36ers)

The 19-year-old Sotto announced the development in a lengthy Instagram post Thursday, April 28.

“I have declared for the 2022 NBA Draft. Please pray for and support me during my quest to fulfill my ultimate dream,” wrote the 7-foot-3 Filipino cager.

Though Sotto wasn’t included in the initial list provided by the NBA, he will test his luck in fulfilling his long-time dream of playing in the most prestigious basketball league.

The draft will take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on June 23, 2022 as a total of 283 players — 247 collegiate prospects and 36 international cagers — had filed as early entry candidates per the NBA.

It has been a long journey for Sotto after his NBA G League stint with Team Ignite went into naught last February 2021 due to his prior commitments with Gilas Pilipinas amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Unfortunately, Sotto had little to no time to fly back to the United States despite the cancellation of the third window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers in Doha, Qatar in which he was supposed to join the likes of Kiefer Ravena, Dwight Ramos, Ange Kouame, among others.

Sotto and Team Ignite had reached a mutual decision on Feb. 23 that he won’t be rejoining his NBA G League squad due to various circumstances.

These ultimately led to a decision for him to take his act to Australia and start anew with Adelaide.

“Thank you, Adelaide! Thank you, Australia! It has been an unforgettable year!” added the former Ateneo high school standout

“To the 36ers Management, my teammates, my coaching staff and my agent Joel Bell, I am a better man and a better professional player than a year ago because you all took me under your wing and challenged and mentored me to live up to expectations.”

Sotto also took time to extend gratitude to each and everyone — from his fans, to the 36ers faithful, his mother Pamela and father Ervin, his management East West Private — for the unending support.

The announcement just also came a day after Sotto won the Fans’ Most Valuable Player award in the NBL with his growing fanbase not only in Adelaide but also internationally.

Sotto averaged 7.52 points and 4.48 rebounds in his first professional stint with the 36ers.