Kai Sotto: 'A good feeling' to play in first NBA Summer League game

Published July 14, 2023, 2:00 PMJC Ansis

The 21-year-old Kai Sotto finally made his NBA 2K24 Summer League debut, putting up solid numbers for the Orlando Magic in 13 minutes.

Kai Sotto made his NBA 2K24 Summer League debut today in the Orlando Magic's 88-71 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

In 13 minutes of play, Sotto impacted the game with six points, four rebounds, and three blocks, and one assist.

"I feel like it's a good first game, to go out there and compete. It's not good that we didn't win but we learned a lot from this game. I think we were very good defensively. We just got to work on getting better looks. We got to make shots in the next game and bounce back," Sotto told reporters in a post-game interview posted on the Magic's official Twitter account.

"(The Summer League) is pretty fast-paced. Everybody's skilled, everybody's hungry to show they're worthy of a roster spot. It's competitive so it's nice to finally go out there and play. It's a good feeling."


The Magic are 0-4 in the Summer League, and in the first three games, Sotto didn't see action, which frustrated many Filipino fans. But Sotto took it in stride and kept a positive outlook, soaking everything and treating it as a learning experience.

When the coaching staff finally gave him some court time against the Blazers, he contributed in every way he could and left his mark on the game.

"Obviously, I'm one of the tallest guys out there - I gotta help my team and protect the paint when I'm in there. Offensively, it'll come to me. I'm a good teammate, so I'm really a willing passer for a big guy. I'm just going to let the game come to me offensively. But defensively, that's where I'm doing my work," he shared.

"My biggest factor is defense, that's what I gotta keep on working - off-ball defense, protecting the paint, guarding the perimeter guys. For me, it's just impacting the game defensively."

His performance even earned praise from Filipino-American and Utah Jazz star Jordan Clarkson.

Sotto is well aware that many Filipinos continue to support him as he chases his NBA dream. He said that he's "very happy" to be competing in the Summer League and hopes he makes his countrymen proud, whether or not he plays.

"It's a blessing each and every day to be out there and experiencing all of this," said Sotto.

"It feels good for anybody that's playing to have a lot of guys cheering for you. It's a blessing - it's just for me to do my part and to show my 100 percent effort every game. And hopefully, I make (Filipinos) happy and proud."

Sotto's next chance to play is on Sunday, July 16 when the Magic take on the Boston Celtics at 6:30 AM live on NBA League Pass.