Bolomboy brushing Summer League performance aside as Utah Jazz season starts

Tuesday , September 26, 2017 - 6:34 PM

BRANDON GARSIDE, Standard-Examiner Staff

SALT LAKE CITY — Expectations were high for former Weber State great Joel Bolomboy entering NBA Summer League this summer with the Utah Jazz.

The 23-year-old dominated the paint with the Salt Lake City Stars last season in the NBA G-League, scoring 16.5 points and grabbing 13.3 rebounds per game. With his rookie season under his belt, it was anticipated his high level of play would translate into games against younger, less-experienced summer league players in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.

Instead, in his five games between the two summer league locations, Bolomboy posted averages of 6.5 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, well below his averages in his first year with the Stars.

“I think my performance in Summer League wasn’t my best showing, especially coming off the season I had and what I did down with the Stars,” Bolomboy said. “Summer League was months ago and I can’t do anything about that. What I can do is just continue to play hard everyday and show the coaches what I can do and just worry about the stuff I can control.”

Summer League wasn’t the only basketball event Bolomboy attended in Las Vegas. Former NBA coach Tim Grgurich hosts a summer camp in the city for young, rising NBA talent, and Bolomboy was a participant.

Jazz head coach Quin Snyder spoke highly of the Ukrainian-born player’s performance and expects him to continue to improve.

“Joel played very well down there. We were really happy with the way he competed,” Snyder said. “Just like Tony Bradley, Royce O’Neale a lot of those guys. It happened with Raul (Neto) when he first got here. Raul is a second-round pick that has just gotten better and better. That’s what we want for our guys.”

Known for his work ethic, Bolomboy spent the offseason building consistency in his 3-point shooting, developing patience and not overcomplicating his game in the post.

Jazz forward Derrick Favors has mentored Bolomboy and sees similarities between his personal journey in the NBA and that of the former Weber State player.

“He kind of reminds me of myself when I first came into the league,” Favors said. “I try to help him out as much as I can ... He’s a hardworking guy. He’s in the weight room, he’s on the court getting up shots, getting up extra shots. He wants to learn. He’s a hardworking guy, so I hope everything works out for him.”

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According to HoopsHype, Bolomboy’s contract for the 2017-18 season is guaranteed if he is on the roster on Oct. 1. NBA teams are allowed 15 roster spots and Bolomboy is one of 16 who have some kind of guaranteed money in their contract.

Additionally, the Jazz training camp roster is now at the allowed maximum of 20 players, eight of which are power forwards.

But Bolomboy isn’t worried about his contract. He says he’s focused on honing his craft and giving the coaches what they want.

“I’m just going to worry about what I can control and just play to the best of my abilities every single day,” Bolomboy said. “Whatever happens, happens. I’ll just let my agent and the coaches take care of the rest.”

The Jazz begin preseason games at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2, hosting Sydney Kings of the Australian NBL at the newly renovated Vivint SmartHome Arena. The regular season opens at home Wednesday, Oct. 18 against the Denver Nuggets.

Contact sports reporter Brandon Garside at bgarside@standard.net, on Twitter @BrandonGarside and on Facebook.com/BrandonGarsideSE.

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