Bol Bol, one of 20 players invited to New York for Thursday’s NBA draft, had arrived at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, ready to learn his future.
He was rocking a spider-themed suit. On the inside, Bol honored his late father, former NBA great Manute Bol, with a tribute inside his suit jacket.
And then he waited. And waited.
Some had predicted Bol, who stands at 7 feet, 2 inches, would go in the top 10. Instead, the 19-year-old native of Khartoum, Sudan fell to the second round at No. 44, with the Denver Nuggets acquiring the draft rights to the center from the Miami Heat in exchange for a future second-round pick and cash considerations.
“I just want to prove everyone wrong, and just come out and be the best player I can be,” Bol said to ESPN.
Bol, who was a five-star recruit in high school, played just nine games at the University of Oregon, averaging 21 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in 29.7 minutes before a season-ending foot injury.
Manute Bol was one of the tallest players in NBA history, at 7 feet, 7 inches. He played 10 seasons for the Washington Bullets, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat.
“My game is pretty unique because for my size,” Bol said in a conference call, according to the Nuggets website. “I can dribble pretty well, can shoot from anywhere pretty well, and my passing is pretty good. I can just do a lot of things that people my size can’t do.”
With his fall in the draft, Bol will be in a position to join a team in Denver that has title expectations.
“I think it’s good for me because I’ll be around very great players and a good staff,” Bol said. “I think that will help develop me. That will better me. I think I can bring a lot to the team with the knowledge that they give me.”
Bol told reporters that it was a little rough at first to wait for his name to be called. But when he finally was selected: “It’s just a blessing just being able to get drafted,” he said. “That was the main focus, just being drafted.”