Kai Sotto, a 7’2″ center from the Philippines, intends to pass on college ball and will instead join the G League’s revamped professional program, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).
The G League’s new Select Team has landed a number of notable high school recruits, including guards Jalen Green and Daishen Nix, as well as forward Isaiah Todd. Sotto represents the first international prospect who will sign a contract with the NBAGL program, as Charania notes.
A four-star recruit who comes in at No. 62 overall on ESPN’s 2020 rankings, Sotto arrived stateside in 2019 and joined The Skill Factory, a prep program based in Georgia. A handful of colleges were believed to be keeping an eye on the big man, including Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Auburn, and USC, but he’ll opt to go pro as he pursues an eventual NBA career.
ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz wrote in February about their impressions of Sotto at the Basketball Without Borders camp, with Givony noting that the youngster’s talent stood out in drills, even as he “struggled to make his presence felt in the games.” According to ESPN’s scouting report, Sotto has a versatile skill set given his size, handling the ball well and displaying three-point range on his jump shot.
Meanwhile, Dakota Schmidt of Ridiculous Upside wrote on Sunday that he viewed Sotto and the G League Select Team as a good fit for one another, pointing out that taking on a project like Sotto would allow the program to prove it’s capable of developing prospects who are still fairly raw.