Kai was finishing summer classes en route to FIBA Asia U16 Mythical Team

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Apr 11, 2018 04:17 PM
Kai was finishing summer classes en route to FIBA Mythical 5
Kai Sotto passed the tough tests put up by both international competition and high school summer classes (Photo courtesy of FIBA)

Kai Sotto is one of the five best players aged 16 and under in all of Asia.

This, according to FIBA Asia itself which put the 7-foot-1 Filipino towering teen as a member of the Mythical Team.

With per game counts of 16.8 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks, Sotto lived up to the hype as the best big man prospect the Philippines has had in a long while.

As such, he finds himself standing shoulder to shoulder with Australia’s Luke Jackson, Wani Swaka Lo Buluk, and Tamuri Wigness and China’s  Sun Haoqin as the five best players aged 16 and under in all of Asia.

Making the 15-year-old’s achievement even more amazing, he did all that while taking care of some studies at night.

“These boys have stories of sacrifices that people outside the team do not know,” Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes shared during the team’s homecoming dinner last Wednesday. “We’re talking about Kai being the most efficient player and in China, he was the only one allowed to have a cellphone after practice because he had to complete homework.”

Yes, among the 12 players of Batang Gilas, Sotto was the only one to have a phone every night after games or practices.

And it wasn’t so that he could check his social media or binge-watch on Netflix. Rather, it was to finish up on some school work for his summer classes.

Of course, the pride of Ateneo de Manila High School said it was far from easy juggling FIBA Asia and homework. “Hindi easy yun. Siyempre, pumunta kami ng China para mag-focus sa Gilas,” he shared.

He then continued, “Pero salamat sa coaches at sa teammates ko kasi tinulungan nila ako.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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