Meet Jonah Bolden, the next Aussie NBA superstar

Simon Douch Roar Pro

By , Simon Douch is a Roar Pro

Tagged:
 , , ,

6 Have your say

    While the Australian sporting community jump on the Ben Simmons bandwagon, hoping and praying that the number one draft pick can successfully return from injury, not much has been said about his teammate and fellow Aussie Jonah Bolden.

    While this is old news for basketball fans, Bolden is on the cusp of international stardom, and the Australian public need to learn about their next international sporting star.

    Melbourne-born Bolden, son of NBL star Bruce Bolden, chose to play college basketball at UCLA in 2013 after his national debut, playing for Australia at the FIBA U19 World Championships. Bolden’s time at college was littered with injuries and surgery, limiting his growth as a player and causing him to fly somewhat under the radar of the Australian sporting community.

    Bolden left college early, signing with FMP Beograd in the professional basketball league in Serbia. In his first and only season in Serbia he averaged 12.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, which was good enough to be awarded the league’s top prospect title.

    Bolden was selected as the 36th pick in the 2017 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, joining his fellow countryman Simmons and urging long-suffering fans to ‘trust the process’.

    Unfortunately Bolden will not make his NBA debut next season despite an impressive showing at the NBA Summer League. Instead he signed with Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv and will likely play one season abroad before fully joining the 76ers roster.

    This is only a brief hiatus designed to ensure Bolden’s services will be used in Philadelphia after maturing and refining his skills. Interestingly, Joe Ingles won a championship with Maccabi Tel Aviv before breaking onto the NBA scene.

    At six-feet-ten-inches tall Bolden is a truly versatile player able to play at power forward or small forward. He reportedly has an incredible seven-foot-three-inch wingspan, and he uniquely possesses the agility, speed, power and finesse to excel at both positions.

    His raw athleticism has made many highlight reels, and the chance of an appearance at Japan 2020 is something to salivate over. Furthermore, he won’t hesitate to space the floor and shoot from a distance, with a three-point success rate of 38.1 per cent.

    Consistency is an area of concern as Bolden’s performance relies heavily on confidence. However, when he is on fire, he really lights up the court. If Bolden can use his time in Serbia to work on his weaknesses, he will become a true NBA Star.

    Ultimately he is a six-foot-ten player who is light on his feet, has relatively good playmaking ability and vision and can knock down shots from range. In other words, he is a raw talent that any NBA team would be privileged to have.

    He has the potential to be the latest name in a golden era of Australian basketball that includes Simmons, Ingles, Dante Exum, Thon Maker, Patty Mills and Aaron Baynes.

    Just as the other Australian NBA players have done, Jonah is the epitome of the underdog ‘having a good crack’. It’s what Australia loves about sport and why Jonah could legitimately be the next sporting golden child.

    Do not forget the name Jonah Bolden – he has the potential to be one of Australia’s best and most popular.