News Article

Former NBA Player the Latest to Join BNZ Breakers

02 May
3 mins read

One of Australia’s most gifted basketballers from the last decade is moving to Auckland to further his career rather than stay put with the high-flying Sydney Kings.

Jonah Bolden was the 36th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and played 44 games and made ten playoff appearances for the Philadelphia 76ers in his rookie season.

In a 51-game NBA career, Bolden averaged 13.5 minutes, 4.3 points and 3.4 points for both the 76ers and Phoenix Suns.

At 2.08 metres, the 28-year-old has the physical versatility of being an NBA Power Forward and an NBL Centre.

The former Australian Boomer made a sensational return to basketball for the Kings last season after prematurely retiring for three years.

Bolden played 28 games for the two-time defending champions, averaging 8.5 points and 6.4 rebounds but has now signed with the BNZ Breakers on a one-year deal.

Head Coach Mody Maor believes the New Zealand setup appeals to Bolden primarily because of its growing reputation within the basketball community as a place where players can transform their game.

“The Breakers is an organization which appeals to players who want to achieve things or are chasing something in their career,” says Maor.

“Regardless of whether the player is an import or local, everyone’s got better, everyone’s improved, and everybody’s made steps forward, and it’s something for which we are very proud.”  

Maor says his connection with Bolden comes through a shared connection when discussing the technical aspects of the game.

“I was surprised how good Jonah looked last season, having not played for three years,” he says.

“His shot was great, and his body looked good. He was versatile, able to shoot, put the ball on the floor and play in the post.

“I’m looking forward to Jonah arriving in Auckland and unlocking everything he can do.”

Prior to starting his NBA career, Bolden spent three seasons at UCLA before turning professional with FMB in Serbia.

After one season in Serbia, he moved to Israel, where he won the Israeli Cup and Israeli League with Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Bolden is the sixth player signed to the 11-man Breakers’ roster for NBL25. He joins a new look squad spearheaded by All-NBL First Team Parker Jackson-Cartwright, 2023 LA Lakers draft pick and kiwi born Mojave King, talented Kiwi Sam Mennenga, 2021 NBL Champion Mitch McCarron and returning Dane Pineau.

Another player will be added to the BNZ Breakers’ roster next week. The squad is expected to assemble for the first time in early August in Auckland.


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