Philippine basketball phenom Kai Sotto declares for the 2022 NBA Draft

Fresh from picking up an MVP award in his first NBL season, the Filipino has decided to shoot for the big time and realise his “ultimate dream.”

By Chloe Merrell
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

The Philippines could be on its way to having its first-ever homegrown Filipino player in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

19-year-old Kai Sotto of the Adelaide 36ers announced on Thursday (April 28) that he would be declaring for the 2022 NBA draft.

The 2.18-metre-tall centre made his intentions known just after being named Australia’s National Basketball League’s Fans Most Valuable Player. Sotto finished his first season with the southern Australian side with an average of 7.5 points and 4.48 rebounds across 23 games.

"I have declared for the 2022 NBA Draft" wrote the 19-year-old on his socials after expressing his gratitude to his club for what he called an "unforgettable" season.

The towering teen titan’s impact on the Australia’s basketball scene has also been tangible both on and off the court.

Home and away, the southern Australia franchise saw a significant uptick in support largely a result of the Filipino’s star power and his native basketball-mad country backing him along the away.

Now the big time could await the son of former PBA player Ervin Sotto who has always dreamed of making it to America’s premier basketball league.

A few weeks shy from his 20th birthday the Filipino prodigy is projected so far to be a mid-to-late second round pick according to Rappeler.

The 76th edition of the NBA draft is scheduled to be held on 23 June at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

MORE: Exclusive! Coach predicts NBA stardom for Kai Sotto: “He’s a gym rat with high basketball IQ”

GO OLYMPIC. GET ALL THIS.

Free live sport events. Unlimited access to series. Unrivalled Olympic news & highlights.