NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum is looking forward to seeing Kai Sotto and Filipino-American Jalen Green play with Team Ignite in the upcoming NBA G League season.

/ 18 October 2020

Tatum recently went on NBA Philippines’ Republika Huddle and talked about Sotto, Green, and the NBA G League professional pathway.

“The G League is doing such an incredible job, [commissioner] Shareef Abdul-Rahim and his whole team have been wonderful at innovating and creating this new team Ignite,” Tatum said.

The league’s executive shared his thoughts about the two young Filipinos who took the G-League path to the big leagues, instead of going to college.

“This opportunity for players like Kai, who by the way I had the chance to see him at Basketball Without Borders this year… [is] just so great to see him now playing in our G League for Team Ignite,” he added.

Tatum has been impressed with Sotto’s performance during the Basketball Without Borders last February where the 7-foot-2 Filipino had the chance to be coached by Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam.

With Sotto joining Ignite last May, Tatum is more thrilled to see the Filipino star unlock his potential.

The basketball executive raved about the G League professional pathway, expecting Sotto and Green to receive world-class preparation in pursuit of their NBA dream.

“When we got Jalen, we were so thrilled because he will be a top pick of his class. He saw the opportunity to come in and get trained by NBA G League coaches and being coached now along with Kai and the rest of their teammates with Brian Shaw,” shared Tatum.

“They’re preparing to enter the NBA and what Shareef and the G League have been able to do with this team is create this pathway that says ‘Hey, we’re gonna get you world-class coaching, world-class strength training, physical training, mental preparation to become the best NBA player that you can be’,” he added.

Meanwhile, Team Ignite, currently manned by Sotto, Green, and other top prospects like Jonathan Kuminga, Daishen Nix, Isaiah Todd, and Princepal Singh is not affiliated with any NBA team and will primarily focus on developing their skills to eventually move up to the league.

Ignite is under head coach Brian Shaw, with a staff composed of assistant coach Rasheed Abdul-Rahman, video coordinator Jerry Woods and athletic trainer Pete Youngman.

Sotto, Green, and the rest of the squad are already in Walnut Creek, California to prepare for the upcoming NBA G League season.