Collin Sexton of the Cleveland Cavaliers is currently in Manila, along with WNBA legend Ticha Penichiero, to lend some basketball knowledge to the 2019 Jr. NBA Philippines program.
During a media session on Wednesday, Sexton shared that he recently trained with Kai Sotto in Atlanta. The Cavs guard had nothing but kind words for the young Filipino star.
"I worked out with Kai. I was just with him on Saturday. We just got up and down, chopped it up, and worked out together. That's my guy," Sexton said.
Sotto has been training under the watchful eyes of skills coach Nick Stapleton, who also happens to be Sexton's personal trainer. He has been in the U.S. since early April to undergo intensive training as he pursues his dream to play in the NBA.
"I feel like he can make it. He's seven feet, he's a great player and can shoot it," Sexton said of Sotto, who is expected to return to Manila in early June to join Gilas Pilipinas Youth in their build-up for the FIBA U19 World Cup in Greece.
"He's been getting a lot better. So when he comes back, you all will see."
Sexton also praised his Cavs teammate and Filipino-American Jordan Clarkson for being "a great player."
"Jordan is a good player... Each and every night, he's gonna come in and play hard regardless and he's gonna give us buckets. You all see [when] he comes in the game, instant microwave. He's a great player and great teammate on the court and off the court," he said.
Sexton will be in the country for a couple more days to supervise kids and teach fundamentals in the Jr. NBA program.
"I feel like this can make a big difference in a kid's life just for me to come in and just talk to them and tell them they can be anything, anything they want. And I know that it can go a long way. And for myself, I take pride in coming here and speaking with the kids just because like I put myself in their shoes and I know how much it felt just to have that one person you can ask any question to growing up. So it was great," said Sexton.
ESPN5's Lyn Olavario contributed to this report.