Jonah Bolden left UCLA in late July
At the beginning of the summer, if you’d have asked me who the most interesting NBA prospects were on the 16′-17′ UCLA Bruins roster, enigmatic forward Jonah Bolden likely would have ranked highly on my list.:
In fact, here it is:
1) Lonzo Ball, point guard, freshman
2) T.J. Leaf, power forward, freshman
3) Jonah Bolden, small forward, junior
4) Aaron Holiday, point guard, sophomore
t-5) Thomas Welsh, center, sophomore
t-5) Isaac Hamilton, shooting guard, senior
While he hadn’t produced much during his time at UCLA, he still possesses a unique skillset and his potential was obvious.
Except, perhaps, to head coach Steve Alford. A man long criticized for not getting the most out of his players.
So Bolden left school in late July.
He now has a new home, having signed a one-year deal with Serbian club FMP.
He’s also announced that his intention is to play the season and then declare for the 2017 NBA Draft.
It’s worth pointing out that FMP is Red Star Belgrade and allegedly the club is looking to develop Bolden for a larger role with the EuroLeague team should his NBA dreams not work out.
The 6-10 small forward was born in Australia. The NCAA declared him a partial qualifier as a freshman, stemming from his transfer from Australia when his senior year in high school has already begun. Thus, he was forced to redshirt in 2014-2015 and played last season as a redshirt freshman.
He played in 31 games, starting 11 of them, and averaging 4.6 points and 4.8 rebounds while being asked to play out of position at the power forward spot.
Bolden is the second young player to leave UCLA this summer; earlier guard Kobe Paras withdrew from UCLA for failing to meet academic qualifications, he ended up at Creighton.