Jeremy Lin urges Kai Sotto to ‘continue believing in himself’ after missing NBA draft

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Basketball stars Kai Sotto of the Philippines (left) and Jeremy Lin of the United States (right). (Photos: Sotto – Graham Denholm/Getty Images; Lin – STR/AFP via Getty Images)
Basketball stars Kai Sotto of the Philippines (left) and Jeremy Lin of the United States (right). (Photos: Sotto – Graham Denholm/Getty Images; Lin – STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Even if 30 teams passed on Kai Sotto on Thursday (June 24), Jeremy Lin urged the 7-foot-2 Filipino basketball prospect to keep his head high.

While chatting with ESPN Asia that same day, Lin, who also went undrafted in 2010, “rooted” for Sotto. The former New York Knicks free agent hoped that “[Sotto] continues to believe in himself, stay confident, keep working hard and just trust that, 'as long as [he stays] consistent, [he] will find a home."

He also emphasized that being drafted or not was hardly a solid “indicator” of a player’s future, “because there's so many people that get drafted and fall off, and there's so many people that go undrafted and fall in.”

Lin’s track record reflects these, as he would take the world by storm around February 2012. It was his five-game victory streak with the then-struggling New York Knicks that gave birth to the brief but monumental “Linsanity” phenomenon. In 2019, roughly seven years post-Linsanity, the Taiwanese-American became the first Asian American NBA champion during his time with the Toronto Raptors.

But what’s next for Sotto? True to Lin’s words, Sotto shows no signs of stopping, as he vows to continue learning and growing as a player

“Of course, my development is [my] number one priority. I’m only 20 years old so I still have a lot of room to grow and develop and to improve. The next step is really to think about it with my team, my family. I just have to do everything to get better and reach my dream. It’s not yet over,” he said in a PlayItRight TV interview.

His agent Joel Bell initially said that the 20-year-old would be playing Gilas Pilipinas (which meant he would no longer play ball in the upcoming 2022 Summer League). However, Sotto clarified that there is “no decision” yet on whether or not he would be skipping the games.

Meanwhile, he still has a two-year contract with Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL), which can be extended to three. It was with the Land Down Under’s Adelaide 36ers (with whom he played for in one season) when Sotto bagged an average of 7.5 points and 4.5 rebounds under 15 minutes of game time.

Days after the NBA Draft, Sotto tweeted that “[It’s] Not the outcome that we wanted, but [it's] what [I] needed. My vision became clearer and [I] believe in God's plans for me. I'm far from over and [I'm] not stopping till I get to fulfill my dream. 🙏🏽🇵🇭.”

Reuben Pio Martinez is a news writer who covers stories on various communities and scientific matters. He regularly tunes in to local happenings. The views expressed are his own.

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