Joel Bolomboy has a history of being a steal. According to Max Preps, he was ranked as the 275th best high school player in the nation, coming out of Keller Central High School in Fort Worth, Texas.
Bolomboy came to Weber State as an extremely raw prospect but ended his senior season with 17 points and 12 rebounds per game and having been named Big Sky Player of the Year, Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year and a unanimous All-Conference First Team selection.
He also left Weber State University and The Big Sky Conference as the all-time leader in rebounds, with 1,312.
Even with that collegiate success, Bolomboy fell to the late second round of the NBA Draft, being picked 52nd overall.
With signing a contract with the Jazz in early August, the question of making the starting roster remained undetermined.
There are always places in the NBA for players who stand out immensely among others, and Weber State fans are hoping Bolomboy has that chance.
“I don’t think I’ve been around a player in all my years of coaching that has improved as much as Joel has from his first year to his last year at Weber State,” Weber State men’s basketball head coach Randy Rahe said. ” All of it is due to his hard work. He is a relentless worker and is never satisfied with where he is.”
Bolomboy helped lead the Wildcats to two Big Sky Conference Championship titles and two trips to the NCAA Tournament during his time at Weber State.
“Each season, he made tremendous improvement, and after a few years, we could see he put himself in a position to be an NBA player,” Rahe said. “He has earned the right to be in the NBA. I guarantee there are not a lot of guys out there that work harder than him.”
Improvement on the offensive side is going to be a primary area of focus for Bolomboy in the NBA.
“Offensively, Bolomboy was a bit of a mixed bag,” Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress said. “While he knocked down a trail jumper with solid elevation and can make occasional shots from the perimeter, he’s by no means a shooter. He’ll have to continue fine-tuning his stroke to turn it into a reliable weapon.”
Each season at Weber State, Bolomboy was able to improve his shooting percentage.
His field goal percentage went from 48 to 57 percent in his four years with WSU.
Bolomboy went from shooting zero three-pointers his freshman season to 55 during his senior season.
“He’s got a great opportunity with a terrific organization in the Jazz,” Rahe said. “They do things right, and he now has a terrific opportunity to be with them, and I know he will make the most of it.”
With the NBA preseason just beginning, fans will soon be able to determine the impact he can have with the opportunity he has been given.