Jonah Bolden drafted by Philadelphia 76ers in 2017 NBA draft

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At the 2017 NBA Draft, Jonah Bolden has been drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers where he will join Ben Simmons and ex-Australian Boomers head coach Brett Brown.

Bolden, born in Melbourne, played a season with the University of California, Los Angeles before spending last year in Serbia with FMP Beograd.

Averaging 12 points and six rebounds a game in the Serbian Superleague as well as 14 points per game in the Adriatic league, Bolden was named the ABA League Top Prospect which is awarded to the competition’s best player aged 22 or under.

Prior to that, Bolden represented Australia at the 2013 FIBA Under-19 World Championships where they finished fourth, losing in a heartbreaking bronze medal playoff to Lithuania in overtime.

The forward averaged 2.6 points and 2.9 rebounds at that tournament, playing only ten minutes per contest but he showed promise in a victory over Senegal, recording nine points on 4-4 shooting with an assist, one steal and a block in 14 minutes.

As a member of the Sixers, he will play alongside Ben Simmons and under coach Brett Brown with the Australian connection continuing to grow in Philadelphia.

“Having an Australian coach and playing with Australian team mates definitely helps,” Bolden said.

“I can approach them off the court, I can speak to them on a daily basis- we all have each other’s backs.”

At 21 years of age, Bolden hails from a strong basketball family with his father, Bruce, having played in the NBL for the Eastside Spectres and South East Melbourne Magic.

Entering the draft, Bolden stood at 204cm and is developing an offensive game that can see him dominate inside as well as knock down the three-point shot.

Having not reached the playoffs since 2011-12 and winning a maximum of 34 games in a season since then, Bolden will be hoping to contribute to the Sixers’ resurgence in 2017/18.

In other draft news, Terrance Ferguson was selected by the Oklahoma City Thunder at pick no. 21 after playing for the Adelaide 36ers in the 2016/17 NBL season where he competed in 30 games, averaging 4.6 points and 1.2 rebounds.