June 22, 2024

Kai Sotto leaves Adelaide 36ers, moves on from Australia’s National Basketball League

Kai Sotto leaves Adelaide 36ers, moves on from Australia’s National Basketball League
Adelaide 36ers / Instagram

Kai Sotto will no longer play for the Adelaide 36ers in Australia’s National Basketball League, the team announced on its official website. The 7-foot-2 Filipino center spent two years playing for the Australian club despite seeing his share of ups and downs as he dealt with issues on his erratic playing time. In 50 NBL games, Sotto averaged a modest 7.1 points and 4.5 rebounds.

Sotto enlisted his name in the 2022 NBA Draft, but no franchise took a gamble on his potential. Still, Sotto remains in pursuit of the NBA dream, which apparently played a factor in his decision to take another offer overseas.

“A new opportunity for me is really good and another opportunity for me to play basketball, I’m excited,” Sotto said. “I didn’t want to spend a lot of time not playing, I’m lucky I’ve been offered this deal.”

The 20-year-old pivot made great strides in his final games in the NBL, several of which came when he was given a starting role and more minutes. Sotto acknowledged the growth he’s had with Adelaide.

 “Every season here (in Adelaide), I’ve gotten better, and I’ll just keep on going from there,” Sotto added.

Kaiju's former coach, CJ Bruton, understood the importance of the next step the 20-year-old Filipino is about to take.

“It’s all about taking the next step for Kai, and he will continue to grow as basketballer,” Bruton said.

On Instagram, Sotto crafted a heartfelt appreciation post for his time in Australia. Part of his message read:

"I am so grateful for the two unforgettable years in the city of Adelaide. It had its ups and downs, but I’m sure 36ers community will always be part of my life and I’ll miss this place.”

There is no word yet as to which league Sotto will be playing next. But the hope is that he can get more playing time wherever he goes so he can develop his potential and make bigger strides towards his ultimate goal of playing in the NBA.