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Kai Sotto headed to G League

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Breaking down how Kai Sotto can make it to the NBA (2:22)

Jonathan Givony outlines the road for 17-year-old Kai Sotto to become the first Philippines-born player to make it to the NBA. (2:22)

Kai Sotto, 7-foot-2 center from the Philippines, has decided to join the NBA G League pro program, according to The Athletic. Sotto, who turned 18 on Monday became the first international prospect to sign up for the program, joining Jalen Green, ESPN's top high school prospect, Isaiah Todd, and Daishen Nix.

Sotto played at Ateneo de Manila High School in the Philippines and had been training at Atlanta-based The Skill Factory and had been considering several NCAA Division 1 schools and European ball clubs.

Sotto is expected to join Green, Todd, and Nix on a team based in southern California not affiliated with any G League franchise.

The G League's development program is a reshaped NBA professional pathway program that sources say will pay elite prospects $500,000-plus and provide a one-year development program outside of the minor league's traditional team structure. In recent years, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Darius Bazley and 2020 draft prospects LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton all considered the G League, but passed.

Sotto had powered through the Philippine junior's basketball circuit, having won a UAAP Junior's Basketball Championship and Finals MVP in 2018, and followed it up with league MVP award in 2019. Sotto represented the Philippines in the FIBA U-19 World Cup last year, where he averaged 11.7 points and 7.9 rebounds in 7 games played.