Utah Jazz select Joel Bolomboy in NBA Draft

Cydnee Green

Former Weber State University men’s basketball player Joel Bolomboy was selected by the Utah Jazz in the second round with the 52nd pick of the 2016 NBA Draft on June 23.

20130327CIT ORUvs WSU (Tyler Brown)-32.jpg
Joel Bolomboy visits the student section of the Dee Event Center following a game against Oral Roberts University in Spring of 2013. (Signpost Archives)

“I have a great opportunity, and I am going to make the most of it,” Bolomboy said.

Bolomboy finished his four-year career at Weber State University this past season, helping lead his team to the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament title, the Big Sky regular season title and the Big Sky Conference Tournament title that earned the team an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

20121105Basketball Game (Whitney Young)-20.jpg
Joel Bolomboy vs. Western Colorado University in Fall of 2012. (Signpost Archives)

“Joel has earned the right to be here tonight,” said Weber State men’s basketball head coach Randy Rahe. “He has been such a hard worker. … He has a tremendous opportunity to play with a great organization like the Utah Jazz, and we couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Bolomboy was named the Big Sky Conference MVP and Defensive Player of the Year. He was also an honorable mention All-American honors, a top five finalist of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award and was named the Reese’s College All-Star game MVP.

Bolomboy currently holds the Weber State single-season record in rebounds with 415. He also set a school record of 24 double-doubles in a single season.

20130216mbbl vs MSU (Tyler Brown)-11.jpg
Joel Bolomboy goes up for a layup in a game against Montana State University in Spring of 2013 (Signpost Archives)

“I really appreciate the support of all the Weber State fans,” Bolomboy said.
I am thankful the Jazz drafted me. … I spent four years at Weber State, and I am excited to be able to stay in Utah.”

Bolomboy had to wait longer than most to hear his named called in the 2016 NBA Draft, but he remained confident.

“I tried to stay positive when my name wasn’t called,” Bolomboy said. “I left everything in God’s hands, and the Jazz happened to pick me and give me this opportunity. I am more than thankful for it.”

In weeks leading up to the draft, Bolomboy made a statement that he would not be working out with the Jazz because his agency did not expect him to be around for the second round.

11-14 BBall Vs USU (Kaitlyn Johnson) (6 of 10).jpg
Joel Bolomboy v. Utah State University in Fall of 2014. (Signpost Archives)

“We are excited for a number of reasons,” Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said in a post-draft interview. “(Bolomboy’s) character and how great of a job Weber State does in developing their guys, Joel in particular. We have great respect for their program. … We sure are glad Joel was around for the 52nd pick.”

Bolomboy will be able to exhibit his skills to the organization and its fans in the Utah Jazz Summer League, July 4–7, at the Vivint Smart Home Arena and the Jon M. Huntsman Center at the University of Utah.

While drafted much later than expected, Bolomboy was upbeat about his opportunity with the Jazz.

“I cannot change where I was drafted or who picked me,” Bolomboy said. “But I do know one thing — I am going to come in and show all of the people who did pass on me why they’re going to regret not taking me.”

11-7 Basketball vs SVU
Joel Bolomboy double teamed near the basket. He still finished with a double-double in points and rebounds in the game against Southern Virginia University in Fall 2015. (Gabe Cerritos / The Signpost)
Purple and White Game 10-21 (Gabe Cerritos)
Senior Joel Bolomboy (left) and redshirt freshman Zach Braxton battle for the jump ball to start off the Purple and White game in Fall 2015. (Gabe Cerritos / The Signpost)
3-18 NCAA Tournament v. Xavier (Ariana Berkemeier) (16 of 24).jpg
Senior Joel Bolomboy goes for the three during the second half of the game against Xavier in the NCAA Tournament on March 18, 2016. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)
3-12 Men's BBall v. Montana (Ariana Berkemeier) (29 of 36).jpg
Coach Randy Rahe hugs Senior Joel Bolomboy in celebration for their Big Sky title Spring 2016. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)