Jonah Bolden has had a really interesting path to the NBA. Not every rookie can say they've played professionally in three different countries by the age of 23.
Bolden was born in Australia, while his father played professional basketball, and his mother, who is of Egyptian descent, worked as a psychotherapist. Bolden moved to the United States his senior year of high school and went on to play collegiately at UCLA, before making the decision to play professionally in Serbia after his sophomore year.
Bolden credits his move to Serbia as his biggest year of growth, and after he was drafted by the Sixers with the 36th pick in 2017, his playing overseas continued with Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel. Now a part of Brett Brown's rotation, we reached out to the fans to see what you wanted to know about Bolden.
What did you like about playing in Israel? Would you ever go back and do you think it helped your game?
Tel Aviv is one of the nicest cities in the world, to me personally, and to people living there and experiencing it first-hand. It helped me grow up. The year before, being in Serbia matured me the most, but again being overseas by myself made me more independent, having to kind of fend for myself, even though it was a different level of basketball.
One thing you've learned about Philly since you've been here that you didn't know before?
Just how enthusiastic they are about their sports, I definitely didn't know that. Whether it's us, the Sixers or the Eagles, they are just very enthusiastic and you know that they are behind you 100 percent.
Comparing it to other places I've been, there's nothing that really compares to it. You make a play and you've got 100 tweets from different people in Philly talking about it, whereas you do that in Serbia or Maccabi Tel Aviv, you won't hear about it. So there's a lot of support and people watching and following us.
Closest mate on the squad?
I wouldn't say I have one closest mate, but I'm close with guys like Furkan (Korkmaz), T.J. (McConnell), Ben (Simmons).
Meat pies or Philly cheesesteak?
(*For those, like myself, who didn't know what a meat pie is, think hand-sized pie with minced meat and usually gravy and veggies, iconic in Australia).
Do you have a favorite spot to get a Philly cheesesteak?
No, I've never gotten one in Philly.
What? Do you not like them?
Just haven't gotten around to it.
Who do you model your game after? And what do you think are your biggest assets?
I don't really model my game after anybody. I just watch a lot of basketball and take things and pick apart different players or anyone that's playing. Bring energy, tenacity, stretch the floor, running, length and athleticism.
Funniest person on the team?
T.J. I just click with him and get his jokes and he makes a lot of remarks here and there.
(*T.J. had just tried to crash our interview at this point)
What goes through your mind when you go up for a block?
Just timing, just trying to time and put myself in his shoes. What is he going to do? If he sees me coming at him, maybe faking that I'm going to go left, knowing that he's going to go right, if I do that, so just trying to time it out and get it perfect.
What feels better, a big block or a big dunk?
Do you have a favorite book?
Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.
If you could have any job, not in the NBA, what would it be?
Something in technology. Probably creating and owning my own, something to do with software.
How did you get so into technology?
Ever since I was young, I studied it since high school in Australia, software design and development and all of that, and it kind of just snowballed from there.
Other interests outside of basketball?
Fashion. Clothing. I have my own clothing brand, HVNLY. Started that about six months ago now. I'm revamping the whole Instagram page currently. I'm starting to redo the whole new collection that is coming out. I've always been into fashion.
Who has the best fashion on the team?
I would say me, I'm sure a lot of people would disagree with that. Ben has good fashion, Jimmy (Butler) has great fashion. Landry (Shamet) has really great fashion. Overall, I don't think we have a bad dressed team.
Describe your fashion style …
Sometimes simple, sometimes out of the blue.
All praise to the most high. That's something I live by.
Do you have any pets?
A dog, named Benji, six and a half months. Benji is like my son. He's energetic, loving, happy, loyal and just fun.
What about life after basketball?
Investing. Technology will always be there. My clothing brand, fashion is part of it. Investments are something I do currently and will continue to do in preparation for after.