Midway through his first professional basketball season, Joel Bolomboy has been on a roller coaster.
After being selected by the Utah Jazz in the second round of the 2016 draft, he has been both a bench member of the Jazz and an impact performer for the D-League’s Salt Lake Stars.
With the Jazz, he has played in nine games, averaging just over two minutes per game and scoring 0.9 points per game. With the Stars, he has become an integral part of the rotation.
Bolomboy is averaging 15.8 points per game with the Stars and has been the team’s starter in 17 games. He also leads the D-League with 1.3 blocks and 12.9 rebounds per game.
He was added to the NBA D-League All-Star game as a late addition after JaKarr Sampson dropped out.
To be eligible for this game, a player must have featured in over half of the team’s games that season and must be on a D-League roster the day of the game.
The game was held on Feb. 18 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. The game was the first event over the course of All-Star weekend, culminating in the NBA All-Star game.
Coming off the bench, Bolomboy played 14 minutes in the first event, scoring five points, picking up four rebounds and collecting one steal in front of a roaring crowd.
In the end, Bolomboy and the rest of the Western Conference all-stars fell to the Eastern Conference with the final score 105–100. During the game, he worked alongside players from big-name universities.
For one day, he was teammates with Okaro White from Florida State, Johnny O’Bryant III from Louisiana State and Dakari Johnson from the University of Kentucky.
These players represent the combined teachings of several successful college coaches, including one of the greats: John Calipari. Bolomboy was also afforded the opportunity to play in front of a crowd stocked with NBA players, coaches, executives and team scouts.
Bolomboy was the only representative at All-Star weekend for the Wildcats. This came as a surprise to many as Damian Lillard was left on the outside looking in at the All-Star game for the second year in a row.
While Bolomboy was the sole Wildcat in New Orleans, he was not the only member of the Jazz in attendance.
Danté Exum and Trey Lyles competed in the Rising Stars Challenge while Gordon Hayward played in the All-Star game, coming in second place in the skills challenge.
While Jazz fans have not yet seen the full force of Bolomboy’s skill in person, those in attendance saw the success that enamored him to Weber State.