High School Sports

Bolomboy’s journey from Keller Central now includes the Utah Jazz

Joel Bolomboy ranked seventh in career scoring in Weber State history with 1,484 career points and played in 130 career games, the third most in school history.
Joel Bolomboy ranked seventh in career scoring in Weber State history with 1,484 career points and played in 130 career games, the third most in school history. AP

Former Keller Central High School and Weber State standout Joel Bolomboy was confident that his name would be called during Thursday night’s NBA Draft.

He just didn’t know by whom and when.

Bolomboy was selected by the Utah Jazz in the second round. He was the 52nd overall selection.

“I was more than happy to hear my name called,” Bolomboy said during a teleconference with the media. “Just talking to my agent on the feedback we got, we were confident I would have gone early second or late first. That didn’t go as planned.

“I stayed confident. I had the family and they supported me. I was just hoping. I left everything in God’s hands. The Jazz happened to take me and gave me the opportunity that I’m more than thankful for.”

Bolomboy didn’t make the trip to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., site of the draft. Instead, he watched the draft at home with his high school coach, AAU coaches, relatives, and close friends.

“I tried to stay positive. I was texting him [agent] back and forth as names were being called and picks were going by,” Bolomboy said. “He said things were going to pan out. He said a lot of the guys in the second round were draft-and-stash guys. They were going overseas. He said we weren’t going to seem defeated or not going to beg for someone to draft us. He said everything is going to work out.”

Bolomboy didn’t have a pre-draft workout with the Jazz.

“When we had a Pro Day, they came in the day before and had a one-on-one interview with me, two of their coaches. They expressed their interest in me,” Bolomboy said. “They said if I happen to be around that I was a guy that they could see getting drafted.”

Bolomboy was a two-time Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Year and the league’s career leader in rebounds with 1,312 during his four-year career.

He is also Weber State’s career leader in blocked shots with 179 and is WSU’s career leader in career free throws attempted at 651. He ranks seventh in career scoring in Weber State history with 1,484 career points and played in 130 career games, the third most in school history.

At 6-feet-9 inches tall with a 40-inch vertical jump, Bolomboy’s strength is his rebounding and his defense. He’s not known for scoring despite having more than 1,400 career points.

“I have no problem with that. That’s what I do,” Bolomboy said.

Bolomboy was named the MVP of the Reese’s College All-Star Game in April after scoring 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in 27 minutes.

“I work out every single day. My shot is getting better every single day,” Bolomboy said. “The stuff that I’m great at, I’ll always be great at. My weaknesses are coming along great.”

At Keller Central, Bolomboy averaged 17.8 points and 12.9 rebounds for the Chargers. He scored 20 or more points 13 times during the Chargers’ 27-8 season.

He was a first-team All-State pick, league defensive player of the year and team’s most valuable player.

Whether it’s the first round or the second round, Bolomboy never lost his confidence and now he has made it to the NBA.

“The Jazz gave me an opportunity. Just like in high school, I was overlooked. I can’t change where I was drafted. I can’t change who chose me. I don’t know why teams drafted the way they did,” Bolomboy said. “I do know one thing. I’m going to come in ready to play and show all those people who passed on me why they are going to regret not picking me.”

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