Kai Sotto putting in more work as he trains in famed basketball camp in Las Vegas
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 08, 2017 07:38 AM
Kai Sotto's growth as a basketball player has only just begun.
Summertime is usually a time for teenagers to unwind and take a break before school starts anew.
But Ateneo Blue Eaglet and Batang Gilas big man Kai Sotto, at 14-years-old, is not the usual teenager.
After being one of the key cogs in Batang Gilas’ gold medal campaign in the recently-concluded SEABA juniors tournament last May, Sotto underwent training in the famed Impact Basketball camp in Las Vegas.
The camp is known for producing some big names in the NBA, like Kevin Garnett, Kawhi Leonard, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Kristaps Porzingis, and Kevin Love, among others. And Sotto has been soaking up the experience.
“Sobrang blessed, sobrang saya ko na mag-practice dito sa impact, lalo na mga kasabay ko ‘yung mga mag-papadraft na sa NBA, kaya magandang experience to para sa’kin,” Sotto said.
Sotto went to the camp to polish his game even more, after a UAAP juniors campaign that saw him win Rookie of the Year, and so far, he’s putting in work as he aims to take better advantage of his lengthy 6’11” frame.
“Sa lahat siyempre advantage ‘yung height kasi ‘di matuturo ‘yung height diba, kaya para sa’kin, nakuha ko na ‘yung height. Pag-hihirapan ko pang makuha ‘yung skills para mas advantaged pa lalo,” said Sotto.
The camp is also doing wonders for Sotto’s mentality.
“Marami akong natutunan dito, ‘wag mag give up, laging i-push ‘yung sarili, kasi ‘dun daw gagaling ‘yung players,” Sotto revealed, “Kahit pagod na, ‘dun daw nila pinupush ‘yung mga players na mag workout pa lalo.
Ever the supportive father, retired PBA player Ervin Sotto was also there to witness his son’s development.
“‘Yung footwork niya. ‘yung shooting form niya, ‘yung mga spots na kailangan nakakshoot siya… Sinasabi ko sa kanya pag-igihan niya,” he said.
“Magandang experience sa kanya ‘to… Iipunin mo ‘yun para sa sarili mo so makakatulong ito sa basketball career niya. ‘Di lang sa basketball, [pero] sa buhay niya rin,” the elder Sotto added.
With a report from Bev Llorente