Kai Sotto, the 7-foot-2 high school prodigy, is heading to the United States on April 1 to begin training in hopes of playing in the NBA.
"Our first stop is the U.S. to train," his father Ervin Sotto said a press conference dinner set up by Chooks-to-Go on Tuesday. "Because what Kai really needs is to strengthen his body. He'll start intensive training. He already has the height and the basketball skills. What Kai is really lacking is to bulk up, the competition, and the exposure."
According to the elder Sotto, Kai will undergo training in the U.S. for the next two months. What comes after the training remains unclear, however. Ervin admitted that there is no definite plan for a team or school abroad until after the upcoming FIBA U19 World Cup later this year.
Though there is no clear cut plan yet, the 16-year-old's aspiration to make it to the NBA remains.
"I really want to make it into the NBA," Kai said. "No matter what happens, I'll give my best because that's really my No. 1 goal and dream."
The idea to go abroad stemmed from Kai's Batang Gilas stints last year where he played in three FIBA competitions (U16, U17, and U18).
"When he played in China. I told Kai this is the test to see how far you can go," Ervin said. "At the World Cup in Argentina, we talked. We had a goal to see if he fares well there, let's see our next steps."
Ervin also confirmed that there were offers from European ball clubs including Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Baskonia, Alba Berlin, and Movistar Estudiantes, but they have yet to make a decision. When asked if the U.S. NCAA is still an option, Ervin said that it's not currently part of the plan.