Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
International prospect Kai Sotto sidelined by sprained ankle during NBA workout
ByADAM ZAGORIAKai Sotto, the 7-foot-3 big man who is attempting to become the first person born in the Philippines to play in the NBA, suffered a sprained ankle midway through his workout with the Atlanta Hawks last Friday, a league source confirmed.
The injury is to his lower ankle, not upper, and he is day-to-day, the source said.
Sotto, 20, has so far worked out for the New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls and Hawks.
“Workouts scheduled this week had to be cancelled because he needs a little time to heal, rest and elevate,” a league source told PhilStar.com. “Hopefully, the ankle will get better fast enough so he can do a few more critical workouts.”
Sotto spent part of the 2020-21 season with NBA G League Ignite, alongside current NBA players Jonathan Kuminga (Warriors) and Jalen Green (Rockets), who is of Filipino descent.
Sotto spent last season in Australia’s National Basketball League, averaging 7.5 points and 4.5 rebounds for the Adelaide 36ers, who finished seventh in the 10-team tournament with a 10-18 record.
“With that size and length, his ability to play the game with his mind, see the floor, pass the ball, shoot the ball, he can really do everything so he’s unique in that,” The Skill Factory coach Jeremiah Boswell told PhilStar.com. “There are things he can always improve on. In the NBA, there’s a lot of small ball, switching on pick and rolls so how does he move laterally? Can he switch on guards? How does he play pick and roll? Can he hedge and get back?
“Those are some things we’ve been working on and improving, his conditioning and shooting because in any pre-draft workout, you’ve got to be able to shoot the ball, be in great shape so those are the base items you have to capture and then you know he’s gotten better, he’s gotten tougher, he’s moving better defensively, I think now he looks like an NBA player and understands how long he is.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.