UTAH Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson said that "sky's the limit" for Kai Sotto as long as he continues to put in the works for his dream to play in the NBA, which has been derailed after not being picked in the 2022 NBA Rookie Draft last June.
Clarkson, who played with Sotto in back-to-back games for the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, said that the 20-year-old, 7-foot-3 Sotto should not give up.
"Just stay with it, not to be down, give up, or anything. I think he has a bright future. He's young. He's just learning. Get in the weight room, get stronger, put some time in as he grows into the player he is," Clarkson said of Sotto in the post-game presser of the Philippines-Saudi Arabia game on Monday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
"He's very skilled. He can catch the ball, he can space the floor (with his shooting), he can put the ball on the ground and make plays."
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Clarkson and Sotto played some good basketball together in the fourth window of the qualifiers, with the two connecting together on multiple occasions, mostly in alley-oop plays.
Sotto, who has received some nifty passes from Clarkson, averaged 13.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in the two games.
"Sky's the limit for him (Sotto). He's just gotta keep continuing to put the work in. Keep making strides in his career path. I think he's 20 years old. I didn't make the league (NBA) until I was 21 or 22 years old so he has time. He's in Australia (NBL) right now to grow, playing against pros at a young age and really learn the game," the Utah Jazz star said.
Clarkson first saw Sotto as a high schooler and he was still learning the ropes in the NBA. He is proud of how much Sotto has grown and developed his skills.
"I'm proud of Kai with what I've seen. When I first saw him, coming out of like high school, and seeing him now. He's taking steps in the right direction. I'm happy for him and I can't wait to see him continue to grow."