Kai Zachary Sotto (born May 11, 2002) is a Filipino professional basketball player who is signed with the NBA G League. Listed at 7 feet 2 inches (2.2 m) and 225 pounds (102 kg), he plays the center position.
The son of basketball player Ervin Sotto, he excelled in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) juniors division with Ateneo de Manila High School in Quezon City, before moving to The Skill Factory in Atlanta, Georgia. A consensus four-star recruit, Sotto joined the G League's professional pathway instead of playing college basketball. He has represented the Philippines in several international junior tournaments.
Sotto played basketball at the elementary level with Saint Francis of Assisi College in Las Piñas. He grew up idolizing basketball players June Mar Fajardo and Kristaps Porziņģis. In April 2016, Sotto enrolled at Ateneo de Manila High School in Quezon City and joined its junior basketball program, the Blue Eaglets. In March 2018, he led his team to a UAAP Basketball Championship title in the juniors division and was named Finals most valuable player (MVP) after averaging 17 points, 13 rebounds and 6.3 blocks per game in three games. In the following season, Sotto averaged 25.1 points, 13.9 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game and earned UAAP juniors MVP honors.
On November 9, 2019, Sotto announced that he would join The Skill Factory, a preparatory program based in Atlanta, Georgia. In his debut one day later, he recorded 18 points and 12 rebounds in a 65–61 loss to IMG Academy. On January 21, 2020, Sotto was named MVP of the King Invitational tournament, averaging 27 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.3 blocks and three assists in three games.In February 2020, he participated in the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp held during NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago.
Sotto was considered a consensus four-star recruit by major recruiting services. He was recruited by several NCAA Division Iprograms. On May 13, 2020, the NBA G League officially announced that Sotto would join its professional pathway program instead of playing in college.
On May 13, 2020, Sotto signed with the NBA G League for his next season, forgoing his college eligibility. He entered the G League's professional pathway, a one-year development program outside its traditional team structure that pays elite prospects. Sotto joined a select team, featuring both prospects and veterans, that plays a reduced schedule.
Sotto made his national team debut for the Philippines at the 2017 SEABA Under-16 Championship in Quezon City, Philippines. He averaged 16.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and three blocks per game, leading his team to a gold medal. Sotto registered 15 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in an 83–62 win over Malaysia in the final. In April 2018, he represented the Philippines at the FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship in Foshan, China, where he led his team to fourth place. Sotto averaged 16.8 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game and was named to the tournament's Mythical First Team. He recorded 28 points, 21 rebounds and three blocks in a quarterfinal win over Japan, before recording 26 points, 21 rebounds and six blocks in a semifinal loss to China. He led the event in rebounds and blocks per game, as well as player efficiency rating (21.5).
Sotto played for the Philippines at the 2018 FIBA Under-17 World Cup in Argentina, where he averaged 16.4 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. He led his team to 13th place, its best finish at the event. In a classification game win over Egypt, he had his best performance at the tournament, tallying 28 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks. Sotto represented the Philippines at the 2019 FIBA Under-19 World Cup in Heraklion, Greece, where his team finished in 14th place. He averaged 11.7 points and 7.9 rebounds, while tying with Ibou Dianko Badji for a tournament-high 3.1 blocks per game.
Sotto's father, Ervin Sotto, and his godfather, Ranidel de Ocampo, played basketball professionally in the Philippines. Sotto's mother is named Pamela and he has two siblings.