Big Sky Conference

Weber State’s Bolomboy drafted 52nd by Utah Jazz


Joel Bolomboy will not have to travel far to fulfill a childhood dream.

The Utah Jazz selected the former Weber State standout with the 52nd pick in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft on Thursday night. Weber State is located in Ogden, less than 30 minutes from Salt Lake City, the home of the Jazz.

Bolomboy, last season’s Big Sky Conference MVP and Defensive MVP for the league champion Wildcats, impressed scouts and team executives during a tour around the country where he worked out for more than half the teams in the NBA. He was projected as high as a late first-round pick and as low as an early second-round pick. His agency told multiple news outlets they believed he would not be available after the 40th pick.

Former WSU forward Joel Bolomboy posting up Former UM forward Martin Breunig

Former WSU forward Joel Bolomboy posting up Former UM forward Martin Breunig

On Thursday, Bolomboy did not hear his name called until there were just eight picks left in the 60-selection process. The Ukraine-born 6-foot-9 power forward was simply happy to hear his name called at all.

“I tried to stay positive when my name wasn’t called,” Bolomboy told Brandon Garside of the Ogden Standard-Examiner. “I had my family, they supported me. They lifted me up. I left everything in God’s hands and the Jazz happened to take me and gave me the opportunity. I’m more than thankful for it.”

Although Bolomboy worked out for more than half the league, the Jazz were not one of the teams he put his talents on display for leading up to the draft. But he did have a one-on-one interview with the team just up the road from Ogden and he told Garside he was not surprised when the Jazz selected him in the draft.

As a second-round selection, Bolomboy will not have a guaranteed contract like he would have if he would have heard his name in the first round. He will have to make the Jazz’s roster. Utah currently has power forwards Derrick Favors and Trey Lyles under contract.

Bolomboy leaves Weber State as the Big Sky’s all-time leader in career rebounds with 1,312. Last season, he shot almost 60 percent from the floor and averaged almost 18 points per game. His Defensive Player of the Year selection was the second of his career, as was the Wildcats’ appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Photos by Brooks Nuanez. All Rights Reserved. 

About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 13-year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to found Skyline Sports.

Recommended for you