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. —Joel Bolomboy
Joel Bolomboy already made a name for himself by averaging 11.0 rebounds per game last season, a mark that ranked third nationally. Now the Weber State forward has another shot to impress.
The junior-to-be is leaving this weekend to try out for the Ukraine National Basketball Team, according to a school release, in advance of this year's FIBA Basketball World Cup. Bolomboy, who was born in what is now Ukraine and grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, will participate in several days of tryouts, with nearly 30 players expected to try out.
“This is a great honor and opportunity for me,” Bolomboy said in the release. “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.”
Those selected for the Ukraine National Basketball Team will play in several games leading up to the World Cup. Ukraine will compete in a tournament in Slovenia in July, then play in three tournaments — in Lithuania, France and Spain — in August. The World Cup will take place from Aug. 30 through Sept. 24 in Balboa, Spain, with 24 teams competing.
Ukraine's national team is coached by 17-year NBA coaching veteran Mike Fratello. He was named the NBA Coach of the Year for his efforts during the 1985-86 season.
“It’s a terrific opportunity for Joel to try out for the national team,” Weber State head coach Randy Rahe said in the release. “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."
In addition to his rebounding numbers, Bolomboy averaged 8.7 points per game during the 2013-14 college basketball season, scoring in double figures 11 times. His 11 double-doubles last season was tops in the Big Sky Conference, helping him earn league defensive player of the year honors.
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