When you’re working hard every day towards a dream, it always helps to have very good people in your corner
That’s what Kai Sotto has. As he works every day towards his dream of one day becoming the first homegrown Filipino to break into the most elite club of basketball players in the world, Kai is getting amazing support from two members of this elite club – Andray Blatche and Jordan Clarkson, two Filipinos who, like Kai, have represented the country as members of the Philippine National Team.
Both Dray and Kai live in Atlanta and get to see each other more. Dray has been sharing his thoughts about the future of Philippine National Basketball Program. And what he thinks of Kai’s future.
On future Philippine National Team players
“Philippines has a fantastic crop of young and talented rising athletes who need to get the exposure and experience to play against world class athletes; we need to arm them with proper training, coaching and preparation for the task they face. How about we identify a core group of 12-24 young athletes NOT in the PBA right now and commit them to a regimen of training and team games. Send these 12-24 young athletes to training each summer in the USA.”
His Idea for Securing Financial Support for the Core 12/24.
“Find sponsors for each one of these athletes from either the schools or even corporations or private individuals who will eventually benefit from their services. Or they can be recruited and signed by the SBP and if eventually, they are released to the PBA, there is a financial buy-out so the SBP gets the return on their investments.”
How PBA Can Help.
“PBA Athletes can be picked to join the 2023 team but the PBA has to agree that the year before the World Cup, they have to limit their conference to no more than 2 and allow the chosen ones to join the core young blood that has been in training for 4 years.”
On The Need for Disruption.
“Philippine national basketball needs serious disruption. The usual way we’ve done things in the past needs to change. Leadership needs to make a radical culture change for exponential results”
Investing in Kai and Other Young Athletes.
“Right now, I am investing my time and resources in the future of basketball in this country by mentoring the young Kai Sotto. He is an exceptional young man who will go very far, with the training, exposure, experience and guidance that he is getting right now. I will always support more athletes if there are more.”
Meanwhile, because Jordan is in season now, he sent his parents, Mike and Janie Clarkson from San Antonio, Texas to visit with Kai and his Dad Ervin for a few days and share some thoughts about the journey they are on.
On Jordan’s Desire to Play for Philippine National Team Again.
“Jordan looks forward to being a part of the 2023 World Cup Team with Kai. There’s time to prepare in the next 4 years and he would be happy to work with Kai and other Philippine athletes off-season.”
On Kai’s Training Program.
“Chuck Person’s Next Level Program is properly training Kai not only to further hone his basketball skills, it also supplements P3’s Strength, Conditioning, Speed and Agility Program. Moreover, Chuck is doing an amazing job helping Kai build mental toughness and further strengthen his confidence on and off the court. Overall, a very wholistic program.”
Thoughts on Kai.
“Kai is quickly checking all the boxes; height, check, basketball skills, check, American basketball training, check; American basketball team exposure, check; playing a national team schedule, soon! He is absorbing what experts are teaching him like a sponge and very soon, he will be ready. These next two years will be critical.”
Main Advice for Ervin and Kai.
“Keep your circle tight and small. You have a great team who cares for Kai deeply. You’ve singlehandedly brought him to this stage, the rest of your team will carry him through. Count us in. Jordan has promised whatever support he can give. And you can call on us anytime for advice and help.”