Saying it’s been a long journey for Jonah Bolden doesn’t seem to do it any justice.
At just 22 years old, Bolden has literally been around the world.
The Australian native attended high school in Homebush, New South Wales before making his way to the United States. That trek started at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada before eligibility issues led him to Brewster Academy, located in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.
Bolden opted for UCLA at the collegiate level. However, he departed after two years for the professional ranks in Serbia and later Israel.
The forward reached his final destination of Philadelphia when the organization decided to bring him over to begin his NBA career with the 2018-19 season.
If you have a calculator nearby, Bolden’s total distance comes in at a hefty 26,014.22 miles.
“I think I’ve matured a lot,” Bolden said during media day on what has changed about him the most through his travels. “I think we change as people every day, but I think for myself I’ve changed. Just grown a lot on the court and off the court.”
Bolden’s biggest tweak within himself was actually an attitude adjustment.
It’s been previously reported that he left UCLA because he felt his talents weren’t being used the correct way. But a few trips around the globe and playing against grown men on a nightly basis has a way of altering a person’s tune.
“Going through different coaches and seeing different people, you kind of get a feel for everyone,” Bolden said. “I would say I used to have more of an ego if you asked me two years ago or three years ago. But through situations you kind of humble yourself and kind of come to face reality and know that humility gets you further.”
The fact that Bolden already learned that lesson is a good thing for the Sixers. With Joel Embiid and fellow Aussie Ben Simmons leading one of the better rosters around the NBA, the 36th pick in the 2017 draft will have to earn every minute on the floor.
“I know that as a player you’ve got to either be a star or know your role to last in this league,” Bolden said. “For me, it’s knowing my role. I have high expectations for myself and my teammates.”
Bolden will begin his quest to reach those goals Friday when the Sixers open their preseason schedule. It just so happens the team faces an opponent he is all too familiar with, Australian pro squad Melbourne United (7 p.m./NBCSP+).
“It is kind of full circle if you look at it in that aspect,” Bolden said.