Kai Sotto is far from giving up his dreams of joining the NBA despite being deselected in the league's 2022 draft.
The 7'3" center didn't make the cut among the 58 prospects drafted by the teams. He hoped to be the first full-blooded Filipino in the NBA.
"Thank you to everyone for your support and kind words tonight, I won't stop pursuing the dream of being in the NBA. This is not the end," the 20-year-old wrote on Twitter after the event.
Thank you to everyone for your support and kind words tonight, I won’t stop pursiung the dream of being in the NBA…..this is not the end. I also want to clarify that no decision has been made about me not playing in the summer league. My agent misspoke.— Kai Sotto (@kzsottolive) June 24, 2022
Despite getting undrafted, Sotto is automatically a free agent who can be signed by interested teams.
"The dream is always the NBA. I'll do whatever it takes to get better, to get stronger, to improve," the former Ateneo Blue Eagles player said in an interview with News5. "This is just a speed bump. We didn't get the Plan A but we got Plan B and it's not gonna stop me."
Sotto has the opportunity to play in the NBA Summer League in July.
Prior to the draft, the 20-year-old athlete played in the Australia National Basketball League with the Adelaide 36ers and joined the NBA G League Ignite. He attracted pre-draft workouts with the New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, Sacramento Kings, and Indiana Pacers.
Sotto later told News5 he was thankful for his Filipino fans and said that he felt like he "let a lot of people down."
"I will remember this feeling so next time I'll do my best. I have a chip on my shoulder," he added.
Despite this, fans on Twitter showed the homegrown player love and support on Twitter.
Kai Sotto, drafted or undrafted, should have nothing to be ashamed for.— ernest (@ernestmartin_) June 23, 2022
Kid went through a ton of workouts, a whole new life in Austrailia and the US to fulfill the dream of a first full-blooded Filipino in the NBA.
From one Filipino to another, we're very proud of you, Kai!
Mad respect for this big fella 💙 Kai Sotto went through so much training and experience to be the first full-blooded Pinoy in the NBA. Drafted or undrafted, the Philippines is massively proud.— Team Ateneo (@AteneOBF) June 24, 2022
Let’s get the next one, Kai!#OBF #KaiSotto pic.twitter.com/rNhGrrxzN1