Some college students spend their summer working odd jobs to pay for school, while others find themselves spending too much time in the library during summer school. There is one Weber State University student who has the opportunity of a lifetime this summer.
Joel Bolomboy, the defending Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year, is working on earning a chance to play in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup that will take place later this summer.
Bolomboy was one of 30 players invited to try out for the Ukraine National Basketball team, as he was born in what is now called Ukraine. He lived there until his family moved to the U.S. when he was three years old.
“This is a great honor and opportunity for me,” Bolomboy said. “I’m looking forward to the whole experience and being able to play against really good competition. It will be a great learning experience for me.”
Bolomboy is coming off a sophomore season where he averaged 8.7 points and 11 rebounds per game, which ranked him third in the nation. Also, he led the Big Sky Conference with 11 double-doubles through out the season.
His best accomplishment may have come in the NCAA tournament against the University of Arizona. His 16 rebounds were the most Arizona had given up all year to one player and was the most rebounds in a single game of any player in the first and second round of the tournament.
Even Sean Miller, head coach of Arizona, was impressed by the way Bolomboy dominated the glass. He told the media that he feels Bolomboy could be a NBA player in the near future.
Coach Randy Rahe is just as excited as anyone else for this grand opportunity Bolomboy has been given. Rahe feels that this is not only a great chance for Bolomboy to better his skills as a basketball player but also to grow as a person.
“It’s a terrific opportunity for Joel to tryout for the national team,” Rahe said. “He’s excited for the opportunity and we’re excited for him. If he makes the team, he’ll have a chance to play against some of the best players in the world in one of the biggest tournaments in the world. It’s a great opportunity for him, not only to continue his development as a basketball player, but a great experience to travel and see the world and to play with different players and coaches. It’s a great experience for him to grow as a person and a player.”
Bolomboy may get a chance to play against of some of the best that the USA has to offer if he is able to make the team. Ukraine will face off against the Dominican Republic, Finland, New Zealand, Turkey and the USA during group play.