Bol Kong has been underachieving for as long as I can remember.
Harsh, but true.
The 6’7 swing man possessing no shortage of talent, was a star from high school, where he played at St George’s in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Since his high school days, Kong attended four different post-secondary schools in three different leagues: Douglas College (CCAA), Gonzaga (NCAA), NAIT (CCAA) and St Francis Xavier (CIS).
Each situation had a reason, from extremely high expectations, to being out of shape. That is now in the past.
Bol Kong has been drafted to the Mississauga Power with the fourth overall pick in the 2013 NBL Draft.
Power Head Coach Fred Grannum watched Bol Kong back in 2011. At the time, Kong was dominating at the CCAA nationals for NAIT, where he averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds.
What did you think?
“What I’ve always thought, as I’ve said several years ago when I was sitting on the Humber College bench [assistant coach] and we saw him playing at NAIT…I said who the hell is that,” explained Grannum.
“I thought his game back then was very high calibre, D1, with a very high ceiling at the end of it. A couple years later, I get to coach him.”
Kong is still talented with potential, but the window of opportunity is closing; he is no longer in high school in great basketball shape with an unlimtited ceiling. He now owns a resume that will draw red flags to some teams. But as far as the Mississauga Power is concerned, Kong is worth taking the chance on.
“Every player’s history comes into part of their selection. It’s our job to do our homework and to figure out if that history is real to us, or if it’s something that we can help fix for the future.”
Everything happens for a reason.
However, the main reason Kong is still playing the game of basketball is due to the fact that he still has amibitions of climbing the ladder and playing at the highest level.
“Real life didn’t strike me as it has now,” Kong told NPH, referring to the sense of urgency he didn’t feel in the past.
“This is a new chapter of my life…this is work for me, I’m trying to make a living,” he continued.
Over the weekend at the NBL Canada combine, Kong was able to make great impressions on the Power coaching staff, and others in attendance.
Power assistant coach is David Joseph, father of Cory and Devoe, who are both in the running for the Team Canada’s senior team. In other words, the elder Joseph knows what it takes to help breed professionals.
Grannum believes that his coaching staff possess the ability to mold Kong, and help him progress physcially and physcologically.
“I don’t think anybody has had the opportunity to see what his ceiling is yet, simply becauase he hasn’t had the time to spend to eventually build that ceiling to see the outcome. We’re hoping it happens here.”
As for Kong himself, he understands what he needs to do, “my ceiling is as hard as I want to work.”
How hard he will actually work is yet to be seen.
“I’m going to bust my ass and work to exhaustion,” said Kong, after the draft.
The biggest area that Kong will need to improve is his stamina and conditioning, and he has just over two months to look like a pro, before the season starts. He has high expectations for himself entering his first year in the NBLC, and quite frankly, the time has come to maximize his potential, as it has been long overdue.
In my years tracking Kong since high school, this was the first time where I felt determination in his tone. However, he still needs to flat out produce.
“At the end of the day, just wait. Give me one year.”
Waiting time will be until tip-off November 4, against the Brampton A’s.
It’s time to step up.