Leandro Bolmaro, ready to make his NBA debut

Cordoba forward Leandro Bolmaro (9/11/2000) begins to warm up engines in the NBA: after being selected by the New York Knicks in 23rd place in the first round of the 2020 Draft -the highest election in the history of Argentine basketball- and after filming the last season in Barcelona, prepares for debut in the best league in the world in the Minnesota Timberwolves uniform.

The Las Varillas guard, who paid the exit clause to be able to play in the American League, showed flashes of quality in the preseason games. Now he wants to materialize that takeoff start with minutes of regular series play.

Bolmaro, who will have his compatriot Pablo Prigioni on the Wolves substitute bench, comes after participating with the Argentine National Team in the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games.

“It is one of those rare cases in which you can say that he was born to play basketball,” said Pepe Sánchez, former base of the Argentine National Team, now president of Bahía Basket, to ESPN. “It has a great facility to make certain movements that are crucial in the game, such as changing direction, rotating on its axis, etc. In addition, it has a significant length and can play positions one, two and three without any inconvenience. “.

Sánchez, the first Argentine to play in the NBA, was the one who recruited Bolmaro from El Ceibo in San Francisco to be part of Bahía Basket, the Argentine franchise with which he played only one year in the National League. Then, in an unprecedented takeoff, he signed for five seasons with the culé team, where he first had good performances in the LEB Oro and LEB Plata in 2018-19, and made his debut in the Endesa League and the Euroleague in the 2019 campaign. twenty.

In his last ACB season with Barcelona, Bolmaro averaged 6.7 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 41 games played.

“He has a long stride, after having practiced athletics for a long time and that helps him,” Sánchez said. “Going to the specific game, he was born at the right time, because he does many different things well, something that the sport itself demands today. He can pass, he can shoot, he can penetrate. I think that, in the future, if he continues to improve his shooting it’s going to have more spaces and it’s going to be really dangerous. Another very interesting point is his physical handling, that’s exceptional, “added Pepe.

Bolmaro, a native of Las Varillas, Córdoba, the same city where Fabricio Oberto was born, trained at the Almafuerte Club and was, curiously, in his early years, national champion of hexathlon in the Evita Sub 14 Games, in addition to winning the National Cup of combined events in octathlon in 2015.

“I also went to a South American and came out fifth. My specialty was the hexathlon so I practiced javelin throw, bullet, high jump, long jump, hurdles and 800 meters. The truth is that all that later served me in basketball for the issue of coordination and jumping, “Bolmaro said some time ago to The Sports Voice.

The growth of ‘Cebolla’ was geometric, since it participated, among other elite tournaments abroad, of the Nike Hoop Summit in 2018, a contest of which the best prospects in the world are part, by invitation.

Accompanied by stars of the stature of Nick Calathes and Nikola Mirotic in Barcelona, ​​among other notables, Bolmaro grew, in recent times, to unsuspected limits. He went from promise to regular player in the Catalan first team, with performances for the box in ACB and Euroleague. He also received the blessing of a strict coach like Svetislav Pesic, who has not felt the comparisons with Manu Ginobili unreasonable.

“He steps on a basketball court and a smile is drawn to him,” adds Pepe Sánchez. “He always imagines things with the ball and, added to his physical and technical conditions, he is an ideal combo. He is a very good boy, from a good family. He has a different potential than the average project”, completes the Olympic champion base in 2004.

The Timberwolves will open their regular season on Wednesday 20th against the Houston Rockets at the Target Center. With the likes of D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns, Chris Finch’s team will be looking to be one of the upsets of the tournament. Meanwhile, Bolmaro will seek, as his first personal goal, to add hours of flight to earn a place in the rotation.

A new albiceleste dream is underway.

Here we go.