A closer look at Kai Sotto's possible European destinations

ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 07, 2019 04:47 PM
A closer look at Kai Sotto's possible European destinations
Here's a peek at the ball clubs that have expressed interest in developing towering Filipino teen Kai Sotto. (Photo courtesy of FIBA)

Seven-foot-two Filipino basketball standout Kai Sotto has received offers from four big-name international programs, according to an article from international sports site Sportando.

The UAAP Season 81 Juniors MVP, at 17, was reportedly given offers by Spain's Real Madrid, Barcelona, Saski Baskonia, and Germany's Alba Berlin. 

Sotto, who has long been touted as the future of Philippine basketball is yet to make a decision, as he's focused on finishing his studies at Ateneo Junior High School

He's been clear, however, that wherever he chooses to go, his family has his all-out support.

Kai is the most tantalizing basketball prospect to come out of the Philippines with this height, mobility, and IQ. The reported offers could elevate his game to unimaginable levels. 

Before he makes his choice, let's take a look at the four storied ball clubs that have expressed interest in developing Kai, as a sort of guide to whose footsteps he can follow, if he does decide to pull the trigger on playing internationally.
 

Real Madrid 

Leagues: ACB (Domestic) & Euroleague (International)

Notable Players Produced: Luka Doncic, Willy Hernangomez, Serge Ibaka, Nikola Mirotic, Drazen Petrovic, Arvydas Sabonis, Rudy Fernandez.

In terms of notable names developed, Real Madrid is second to none in the European circuit. With a longstanding tradition of greatness, from Arvydas Sabonis, to Drazen Petrovic, and now, Luka Doncic. 

The squad's international presence and success are also positive signs, as NBA teams are constantly on the lookout for young talent in successful European teams.

Barcelona 

Leagues: ACB (Domestic) & Euroleague (International)

Notable Players Produced: Alex Abrines, Carlos Arroyo, Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol, Mario Herzonja, Marcelo Huertas, Ersan Ilyasova, Joe Ingles, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Rodions Kurucs, Ricky Rubio, Anderson Varejao.

While its notable players aren't as eye-popping as the NBAers produced by its rival Real Madrid, Barcelona shares the same echelon in the LIGA ACB. Barcelona had a hand in developing the Gasol Brothers Pau and Marc, as well as Ricky Rubio, among other NBA products. 

Saski Basconia 

Leagues: ACB (Domestic) & Euroleague (International)

Notable Players Produced: Davis Bertans, Nemanja Bjelica, Chase Budinger, Goran Dragic, Shane Larkin, Andres Nocioni, Fabricio Oberto, Lamar Odom, Pablo Prigioni, Luis Scola, Tiago Splitter, Sasha Vujacic. 

Saski Basconia is one of Liga ACB's traditionally successful teams. Based in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, the squad has won three Spanish titles and a FIBA European Cup. 

Basconia's program has also produced several players who've made the transition to the NBA, notably Davis Bertans, Nemanja Bjelica, Chase Budinger, Goran Dragic, Andres Nocioni, Fabricio Oberto, Luis Scola, Tiago Splitter, and Sasha Vujacic. 

The team has had a hand in producing international big men who are well-adjusted to the modern game. 


Alba Berlin

Leagues: Bundesliga (Domestic) & Euroleague (International)

What Alba Berlin lacks in big-name NBA alumni, it more than makes up in its winning tradition and popularity in its mother league, the Basketball Bundesliga in Germany. 

Hailed as the most successful basketball club in the nation, the Alba Berlin Albatross have won eight German titles, and has the distinction of being the first German squad to beat a reigning NBA champion team when they took down the San Antonio Spurs in 2014. 

Latest News