Jalen Green backs Kai Sotto's NBA dream - 'I think he's going to achieve it'

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 14 2022 03:44 PM

The Houston Rockets' guard and Filipino-American Jalen Green visits a car and sneaker meet in Parañaque City as part of his JG4 Manila Tour on August 11, 2022. The tour is Green's third visit to Manila and his first as an NBA player. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
The Houston Rockets' guard and Filipino-American Jalen Green visits a car and sneaker meet in Parañaque City as part of his JG4 Manila Tour on August 11, 2022. The tour is Green's third visit to Manila and his first as an NBA player. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Kai Sotto may be taking a longer road to the NBA, but the Filipino center should still be able to reach his destination.

This is the sentiment of Filipino-American guard Jalen Green, who is in full support of his one-time teammate despite Sotto's recent setback.

The 20-year-old center was not selected in the 2022 NBA Rookie Draft, and he has since returned to Australia's National Basketball League (NBL) to play a second season with the Adelaide 36ers. 

Green, the second overall pick in the 2021 NBA Rookie Draft by the Houston Rockets, encouraged Sotto to keep pursuing his dream of making it to the top league in the world.

"I love Kai's game, [it's] super good," said Green, who briefly teamed up with Sotto in the G League Ignite before the Filipino center departed the squad.

"He's just on a different journey right now. Everyone has their own path and this is his story, he can make it what he wants to," he added. "I think he loves the game and wants to get to the league so I think he's going to achieve it."

Green recently wrapped up a visit to the Philippines, where he got a chance to play with local Adidas athletes as well as hold a camp in Ilocos Sur, where he traces his roots.

This is the Fil-Am guard's third visit to the Philippines, having also gone here in 2018 and 2019 to play in the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) Championships. It was there that he first got to meet and play against Sotto.

As he is very familiar with Filipino talent, Green has no doubt that more local talents will reach the NBA.

"Anybody can get to the NBA. All around the world, it's a world wide league. You just gotta put your mind to it, stick to the grind," he said. 

"Don't lose yourself because you had a tough day or you feel like nothing's going your way, that's where you're really going to prevail the most," he added. "Those are the moments you gotta live for, the days that you feel like you struggle with or nothing's going your way, you gotta capitalize on it."

"Just stay in the lab and work."