The best rebounders are born, not made. Good size, long arms, big hands and a chin that can withstand a lot of sharp elbows are gifts of good breeding and not good workout habits.
DNA helps make the rebounder, take that to the bank.
On the other hand, what good is a gift that never gets opened or worse still, goes unused?
Weber State power forward Joel Bolomboy is using his gift and that's gratifying to see.
The 6-foot-9 sophomore, who leads the Big Sky Conference in rebounding, grabbed a season-high 16 boards Monday night as the Wildcats held on for a 65-59 victory over Idaho State at the Dee Events Center.
It was the sort of game that reminds fans they're alive and leaves coaches wondering if they're going to see sunrise the next day. The 'Cats fell behind early, ran away in the middle and let the Bengals back in late.
In the end it the 'Cats were saved by some great plays in the final minute or so and coach Randy Rahe was grateful for the win, especially after his guys saw a 12 point lead dwindle to two with 46 seconds remaining.
WSU is now 8-6 overall this season, 5-1 in in the Big Sky Conference. Monday's win was the 'Cats' second in 48 hours and third straight overall.
Imagine where they'd be without a rebounding machine like Bolomboy.
Imagine what their record might look like without a guy who can create more possessions with offensive boards and can flat-out take the ball away from opposing players on the defensive end.
If you don't think such things matter, you don't understand the game.
"It's huge," Rahe said. "Your field goal percentage defense goes down and your offensive field goal percentage goes up. And we need it because right now our team is limited offensively and I knew it would be this year. We've got to find ways to create opportunities."
Bolomboy is doing just that.
Going into Monday's game he was averaging 9.5 rebounds a game, down from the 10 a game he had going into last Saturday's home victory over Southern Utah. However, Bolomboy got into foul trouble and wound up playing a season-low 20 minutes. Consequentially, he recorded only four boards that night, the fewest he had all season.
He more than made up for it against ISU and now he's back up to an even 10 a game.
But this isn't only about statistics. In fact, it's more about how Bolomboy is refining his physical gifts - his knack for rebounding - with lots of hard work.
"I just track the ball and go get it," he said.
Of course, there is technique involved. There is the understanding of things like angles, positioning and timing; that's where the hard work and commitment to the craft comes into play.
"Sometimes its technique, you have to box out," Bolomboy said outside WSU's locker room after the game. "Other times it's just a will, a desire. You've got to want the ball. Just go get it."
When asked whether great rebounders are born or made, Bolomboy balked a bit.
He admitted desire means everything but as he considered the question showed no shortness of humility in his response.
"You can also build a great rebounder," he said. "I've had days where I haven't chased the ball as much as I should. I've got to get to the point where I'm always chasing the ball."
He certainly did chase it well on Monday.
But for as well as Bolomboy rebounds the ball, he still has a long way to go to become a truly well-rounded basketball player. His rebounding is excellent and his defense is strong but offensively, he needs work.
He admits it and so does Rahe.
"I'm working on it every day, trying to get better. If I can get to where I can score consistently it would help us all out," said the athlete.
"Offensively he's just still a little bit raw," said the coach. "His feel for the game is not great right now. It's gotten better from last year and it'll continue to grow as he plays more."
Bolomboy scored seven points against the Bengals, all in the first half. For the game he was 3-for-6 from field and 1-for-2 from the free throw line.
Those figures aren't terrible, not by any means. But they're a long way from matching the sizzling stats he puts up in the rebounding portion of the boxscore.
The good news for Rahe and his 'Cats is, young Mr. Bolomboy is just that: young. He's got the time and the desire to refine his offensive game and if all goes the right way he'll get it to match what he does on the boards.
Take that to the bank.
Jim Burton is the Standard-Examiner's sports columnist. He can be reached at 801-625-4265 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @StandardExJimbo