The 2019 NBA Draft pick had an injury-ravaged college career before making his much-awaited debut in the competition last year. However, the 7' 2" Bol Bol, one of the tallest players in the competition, had to endure tougher hardships to get to this stage.
On that note, let us have a look into Bol Bol's endearing journey from humble beginnings to becoming an NBA player.
Bol Bol - From war-torn Sudan to Connecticut, USA
Bol Bol was born on the 16th of November 1999 to former NBA player Manute Bol and his wife Ajok Kuag in Khartoum, Sudan. He was named after his late great grandfather and former chief of the Dinka tribe, Bol Chol Bol.
Because of the ongoing Second Sudanese Civil War (1983-2005) at that time, it was thought that Bol Bol's father, Manute, was a spy, which forbade the family from going to the USA. As a result, the family moved to Cairo, Egypt, where they were stranded for quite some time due to visa issues.
When he was two years old, Bol Bol and his family moved to Connecticut as political refugees. It was here that Bol Bol commenced his basketball journey. Encouraged by his father, Bol Bol hesitantly began to play and practice in his father's gym.
Bol Bol played for the Junior Varsity team in Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park, Kansas. He later transferred to Bishop Meige High School, where he started out playing for the junior varsity team due to transfer rules.
In his sophomore season in high school, Bol Bol's elite abilities at both ends of the floor made made him one of the top recruits in his class.
In November 2016, Bol Bol announced he would be transferring to the Mater Dei High School, one of the top basketball programs in the country.
On his debut for his new school, Bol Bol recorded an impressive 21 points and 10 rebounds, as his team brushed aside Orange Lutheran High School.
In 2017, Bol Bol transferred schools again - apparently due to personal and family reasons - this time moving to Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada. During this time, he was recruited by several top-level programs before Bol Bol eventually committed to Oregan.
Bol Bol's college career
With Oregan, Bol Bol had an emphatic but short college career.
On his debut, the prospect recorded an impressive 12 points and as many rebounds in just 23 minutes of play against Portland State. Bol Bol recorded his college career-high of 32 points and 11 rebounds in a loss against Texas Southern.
His last game was against San Diego, where the player had 20 points and nine rebounds before a stress fracture in his left foot cut short his college career.
Bol Bol - NBA Draft 2019
Before his injury, Bol Bol was one of the top recruits in the NBA Draft class of 2019. But a stress fracture to his lower body, especially for a 7' 2" player has ramifications, and Bol Bol was no different in this regard.
After the injury, the player was no longer a guaranteed top-5 pick, as he had to wait till the second round to get picked.
Bol Bol was eventually drafted by the Miami Heat with the 44th pick in NBA Draft 2019 before traded away to the Denver Nuggets.
Bol Bol's early professional career
Bol Bol signed a two-way contract with the Denver Nuggets on the 6th of September 2019, which meant he playing for both the Nuggets and the Windy City Bulls in the NBA G League.
After impressing scouts in the G League, the Denver Nuggets eventually made the decision to recall Bol Bol; the player joined the Nuggets roster on 24th November 2020.
Bol Bol eventually made his debut for the franchise in the 2020 NBA Bubble, impressing with his shot-blocking ability, shooting prowess from the deep and touch around the rim. In just 11 minutes, the player registered five points and four rebounds.
What lies ahead for Bol Bol?
The Denver Nuggets have hinted that Bol Bol is part of their plans, and justifiably so. Bol Bol undeniably is incredibly talented and could blossom into a star player in the future.
As with countless big men in the NBA, scouts are worried about Bol Bol's foot injury becoming a recurring one. However, with Bol Bol appearing healthy, the player looks all set to wreak havoc in the competition in the years to come.