FILCCA Welcomes Basketball Sensation Kai Sotto to Australia

The Filipino Communities Council of Australia (FILCCA) is proud to formally welcome one of the Philippines greatest exports, Kai Sotto a young basketball sensation who has been recruited to the Adelaide 36ers arriving earlier this week.

Sotto, at 7 foot 3 inches brings not only height but extreme talent on the basketball court and with this, a big dream of one day playing in the US NBA. But already this 19-year-old is an inspiration to the Filipino community, proving the hard-working ethic of Filipinos is key to unleashing success.

Well adored in the Philippines, Sotto has an existing fan base of over 300,000 Instagram followers complimented by his entrepreneurial activities. Last year launching his own clothing brand ‘Kaiju’ and plans of opening up a global academy in the same name.


Written by Philtimes

Melton overjoyed with new Grizzlies deal

By Drew Hill, Daily Memphian

De’Anthony Melton let out a chuckle as his smile stretched from ear to ear.

The Grizzlies guard had no trouble finding the words to describe the feeling of signing a four-year, $34 million contract.

The third-year, second-round draft pick has bounced around three NBA teams before finally striking a deal that had the potential to change his financial outlook forever.

“Honestly, the feeling was through the roof,” Melton said. “I can’t even go through just one or two, it’s just, I was feeling everything. It’s a breath of fresh air for me and my family, honestly. So, I’m just ready to work and get better. I have the financial stuff settled; I’m good now. I’m just ready to keep getting better. This is everything I’ve worked for.”

But no deal — especially one worth more than $30 million — is complete without the proper celebration. He decided he would rejoice by giving back to his family.

“I got my mom and sisters cars,” Melton said. “That’s not a surprise anymore, because they already know it. But, yeah, that’s definitely the first thing (I bought). They got cars. Now I just have to work on getting my stuff out here to Memphis and establishing my home and everything like that.”

“Mr. Do Something” is thrilled to be back. Despite predictions that other teams would enter the picture with large offer sheets for the restricted free agent, Melton said the choice to stick with the young core of Grizzlies was easy.

Read the full story at The Daily Memphian online HERE

Russ Smith: The big screen, bourbon, and beyond

Merely six years removed from his illustrious career donning the Louisville basketball red and black, Russ Smith is just getting warmed up.

One of the most prolific scorers in program history has checked the boxes in his athletic career: overlooked prospect turned NCAA Champion turned pro, but now Smith also has his sights set on other enterprises: The Russ Smith Foundation, a budding rap career, the bourbon industry, and Tinseltown to name a few.

Since being a second-round pick in the NBA draft in 2014, he has been playing basketball professionally all around the globe, even becoming NBL-China scoring champion in 2017 and 2019, so it’s safe to say there’s plenty of juice left untapped in that keg. But what many people don’t know about “Russdiculous” is that he has had bigger plans beyond the hardwood since he began his professional career.

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De’Anthony Melton a diamond in the rough for Grizzlies bench

As it turns out, it takes more than one season to become an effective two-way player. The Memphis Grizzlies are seeing it firsthand with their diamond in the rough, De’Anthony Melton.

A quick look at the stat sheet wouldn’t tell you much about De’Anthony Melton, both for Sunday night’s game or the Memphis Grizzlies‘ season at large. He’s not a potent scorer, a lead playmaker or a 3-point marksman. In fact, he’s not even a starter, and just barely cracked his way into the rotation at the start of December.

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De’Anthony Melton’s time is now

De’Anthony Melton has been one of the Memphis Grizzlies’ most impactful players this season. Since permanently joining the rotation on December 9th, the Grizzlies are 26-17, playing at the pace of a 50-win team (60.5 winning percentage). The Grizzlies are also 11.1 points better with Melton on the floor than off it, per Cleaning the Glass. They perform at the level of a 57-win team with him on the court, compared to a 29-win team without him.

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The NBA Player Who Went from Anonymous to Irreplaceable

You might not know Rodney McGruder’s name, but he is Mr. Miami Heat, and his journey is one of the great stories in today’s NBA.

t’s 2013, and Rodney McGruder is alone in Hungary. The Miami Heat guard was then a 22-year-old recent graduate of a Kansas State Wildcat program designed by Frank Martin to physically and mentally break those who participate. He’s exhausted from the first leg of his club team’s (Atomerőmű SE) grueling practice regimen, wondering why he’s halfway across the world, thousands of miles from his family, just about as far from the NBA’s radar as anyone who’s already tasted that lifestyle can possibly be.

Read the full story at Vice Sports.

Thankful Arcidiacono Gives Back

“Any way I could give back… you have to understand you are more than just an athlete on the court.” -Arcidiacono

Ryan Arcidiacono is like one of those Stan Lee Marvel characters who defies the ordinary, and not just going from not being drafted to a guaranteed NBA contract. Call Arcidiacono Floor Burn, the relentless every man who never fails to bounce up and bounce back.

Which is a further reason why this unexpected postponement of the NBA season has been even more maddening.

Floor Burn hadn’t sat out multiple basketball games since he had to miss his senior high school season with herniated disc surgery. Since then Arcidiacono has dived for every loose ball, drawn every charge and crashed the metaphorical brick walls of competition through four years at Villanova, almost two in the G-league and another three with the Bulls.

Until late on March 4 in Minneapolis when Arcidiacono felt the dreaded twinge in his Achilles late in the game with the Timberwolves.

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The mysterious De’Anthony Melton

Coming into the season, and after the trade with Phoenix, true basketball savants knew De’Anthony Melton would be good. However, no one predicted that he’d be this productive this season. He’s in the 93rd or higher percentile in every defensive metric. Of any Grizzly duo that’s played 200 or more minutes, he’s in the top 5 with four different players. Per Cleaning the Glass, the team is a whopping 21 points better with him on the court than off.

Melton’s play has been an awesome development, and it’s quietly raising questions about if he should be a cornerstone going forward.

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De’Anthony Melton Has Been An Unexpected, But Key, Find For The Grizzlies

The Grizzlies are ahead of schedule from where they are supposed to be. Per FiveThirtyEight, they have a 13% chance of making the playoffs. That’s 10th in the Western Conference, so they aren’t exactly favorites to make the playoffs. But about halfway through the season, Memphis currently has better odds than the eternally in playoffs Spurs or the Karl-Anthony Towns-led Timberwolves. That’s simply a better place than the Grizzlies could have hoped to be in.

There are two main reasons for that. First and foremost: Ja Morant is incredible. He is the clear Rookie of the Year favorite, assuming Zion Williamson doesn’t go full Thanos on the rest of the NBA when he returns. Jaren Jackson Jr. is also very good and an entirely unique player in year two. Taylor Jenkins also deserves credit and Brandon Clarke looks like a keeper too.

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