Kai Sotto taps in-demand trainer
Kai Sotto with trainer Rob McClanaghan
Photo from Rob McClanaghan's Instagram

Kai Sotto taps in-demand trainer

Alder Almo (Philstar.com) - May 26, 2020 - 11:20am

JERSEY CITY – Kai Sotto has linked up with NBA’s most sought-after trainer Rob McClanaghan as he prepares for his jump to the pros.

This early, Sotto has impressed McClanaghan, whose ascent in the NBA stratosphere started with the successful pre-draft workouts in 2008 with future MVPs Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and perennial All-Star Kevin Love.

“He’s fun to work out because he’s very versatile. He’s very skilled but also has a lot of potential to grow,” McClanaghan told Philstar.com after a few workouts with Sotto who will join the NBA G League Select Team.

He even posted their post-workout photo together in his Instagram account, describing the Philippines’ top NBA prospect as “a young player with a lot of upside.”


Great few days working with @kzsotto. Young player with great upside.

A post shared by Rob McClanaghan (@robmacnba) on

McClanaghan was widely credited for extending Love’s shooting range in 2011 when “he was the first one to tell Love, then a first-time All-Star, that perimeter shooting was the future for NBA big men.”

Soon, McClanaghan’s reputation among NBA players and agents grew and he became their favorite go-to-guy for pre-draft, summer workouts, and some even extended throughout the season to monitor progress.

His client list exponentially multiplied in hundreds of players around the world, and over 75 in the NBA, including former MVPs Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Rose and Westbrook; Love, Al Horford and John Wall.

Now, he is hoping Sotto would soon join his elite list of NBA clients and so far he liked what he saw.

“He’s also a very hard worker that is willing to do what it takes,” McClanaghan said. “He has a good support system that he can lean on.”

Sotto, who is coming off a solid stint with The Skill Factory in his lone prep season in the US, has signed with former LeBron James’ agent Aaron Goodwin to represent him in partnership with his management team East West Private. It looks like they are pulling out all the stops to get Sotto closer to his dream of becoming the first full-blooded Filipino player in the NBA. And that includes adding the top individual basketball trainer in the US to their team to make him NBA-ready.

“We will continue to work and improve,” McClanaghan said.

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