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Adelaide 36ers coach 'immediately excited' about signing Kai Sotto
Conner Henry (L) was all praises for his prized recruit Kai Sotto
NBL/FIBA

Adelaide 36ers coach 'immediately excited' about signing Kai Sotto

Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) - April 22, 2021 - 9:46am

MANILA, Philippines — He still may be in the US, but Philippine wunderkind Kai Sotto already has a fan in his coach with Australia's Adelaide 36ers, Conner Henry.

When Sotto and his team announced the 18-year-old's signing, Henry revealed just how Sotto found his way to the 36ers and how they felt when he was first introduced to them.

"When Kai's name was brought to me a number of months back, the staff and I started to do some really solid investigation on who the young man was, personally as well as what skill level he had," Henry said during a media event hosted by Smart.

"You see Kai being 7-foot 3-inches tall, you're immediately intrigued basketball wise... And when we saw initial film of him, the coaches and I were immediately excited," he added.

Henry, a former NBA D League Coach of the Year, raved about the many positives of Sotto's game -- citing that the big man had skills that can't be taught.

"He's got a really solid feel for the game, he does the little things within the game already -- that those [are] the type of things you can't really teach," said the American tactician.

"When you see elite players already possess the really solid feel for the game, as coaches you get really excited," he added.

Sotto will reinforce an Adelaide squad bannered by Josh Giddey and former Kentucky star Isaac Humphries.

With his all-around game that he has been continuing to develop in the US, Sotto is seen as an important addition to the team.

"He's got great hands, he's able to shoot the ball from range, he's developing an inside game, he ball fakes, [and] he throws clever passes," said Henry.

As for the young star's development, Henry assures that the benefits of this relationship will be a two-way street.

"He will continue to be pushed here physically, mentally," he said.

"We really feel like we have an outstanding plan for him on the development side," he added.

Sotto's multi-year deal with the 36ers comes as the center awaits eligibility for the NBA draft.

Having only graduated from high school earlier this month, Sotto will only be eligible for the NBA draft in 2022.

BASKETBALL KAI SOTTO
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