Former NBA Rookie of the Year helping Kai Sotto with his shooting
Paul Kennedy Lintag on May 18, 2020 11:36 AM
In working with a three-point artist in Chuck Person, Kai Sotto is learning to trust in his own shot and that it can have success in a level as high as the NBA. (FIBA)
NBA-level defense is something Kai Sotto will have to work on as he moves on to the G-League but teen phenom also has to perfect some of his current strengths.
Kai has a pretty soft touch on the court for a 7'2" center and his shooting has been receiving some help from none other than Chuck Person.
Yep, Chuck Person aka The Rifleman. The same Chuck Person who won NBA Rookie of the Year in 1987.
"Nung first weeks na nag-train ako with Coach Chuck, sobrang excited ko kasi yun nga, "The Rifleman" so alam kong tuturuan niya kao mag-improve sa shooting," Sotto said of Coach Person.
"Nagkamali ako kasi first two weeks ko, walang kahit anong shots, puro dribbling lang, puro footwork. Lagi niyang sinasabi na bago kita turuan pano tumira, tuturuan muna kitang i-set yung paa mo para maging comfortable bago tumira. Hinanda niya muna ako maging ready sa shot ko," he added.
As Kai was able to work through his mechanics, his expectations on his shooting coach were gradually met.
While Person played in the mid-1980s all the way through the 1990s, his most valuable skill is easily one of the most important in today's NBA.
In working with a three-point artist in Person, Sotto is learning to trust in his own shot and that it can have success in a level as high as the NBA.
"Actually, he gave me a lot of confidence to trust my shot kasi yung mga first months na nagte-training kami, pinapatira niya ako sa malayo eh. Sabi ko sa kanya, hindi naman ako si Steph Curry para shumoot ng ganyan," Kai said.
"Yun pala, tinitignan niya lang yung range ko at yung kapasidad ng mga shots ko. Tinulungan niya lang ako paano maging ready sa shot ko at maging confident," he added.
Sotto is confident that Person's help in his shooting has already transalated in games.
As Kai gears up for the NBA G-League, the whole world will soon find out if that's really the case.
"After ng training kami, simula nung naglaro ako sa TSF, dinala ko lang sa laro ko and sa tingin ko naman, maganda ang naging effect," Sotto said.
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