Bold call as Bolden signs for Sydney

(Photo: Basketball Australia)

Former Philadelphia 76er and Phoenix Sun Jonah Bolden has signed for the Sydney Kings for the NBL24 season.

The Bolden name would be familiar to hoops fans in Australia as his father Bruce played in the NBL from the late 80s to the early 2000s, including a championship and Finals MVP with the South-East Melbourne Magic and a four-year stint with the Kings where his son Jonah is now playing.

Bolden is excited to play in the purple and gold for NBL24.

“First and foremost, I get to represent the city I grew up in and play for the club and wear the same jersey as my dad did, which is really special,” Bolden said.

“Many of my first basketball memories or photos are me with a Kings basketball in my hands or with a Kings shirt on, showing how engrained this club is in my life.”

He was selected 36th overall by Philadelphia in the 2017 NBA draft where he would go on to have 48 appearances for the Sixers.

Standing at six foot ten, Bolden will bring the size and athleticism that was left by MVP Xavier Cooks after he signed with the Washington Wizards.

“I feel I can bring basketball maturity and leadership to the Kings’ group, as well as an awareness of how to make others around me better,” he said.

“I’ve never been a ball-first kind of guy, rather helping my teammates get the right shot and get them going for the benefit of the team.”

“As a player, my size and length will allow me to be disruptive on defence but also grab rebounds and push the ball up the court, to allow others to get easy shots.”

“Combine that with my ability to stretch the floor and willingness to get down and grind, I’m confident I can help the team build towards a third straight title.”

Bolden hasn’t played professional basketball since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020.

Kings CEO Chris Pongrass says that Jonah has a lot more to prove in basketball.

“Of course, this is a unique situation – Jonah’s intentions and love for the game are pure, and we are thrilled to provide him with a platform to return,” Pongrass said.

“Everyone knows the talent that Jonah possesses – his length, athleticism and range make him an immediate threat.”

“Don’t get me wrong, it is not an easy task returning from an extended absence, but we are invested in providing Jonah with the building blocks and a system that allows him to get back to playing at the highest level.”

The Kings begin their season on September 30th when they take on the Illawarra Hawks in the Freeway series.

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