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Jonah Bolden leaving UCLA to pursue pro career

iMarch 02 2016: UCLA Bruins guard Jonah Bolden (43) battles for position under the basket against Oregon Ducks forward Dillon Brooks (24) during the game between the Oregon Ducks and the UCLA Bruins at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by David Dennis/Icon Sportswire)
(Photo by David Dennis/Icon Sportswire)

Jonah Bolden’s debut season with UCLA resulted in the forward averaging fewer than five points per game. Nevertheless, the 6-foot-10 Australian import has proclaimed his intentions to leave the program and pursue a career professionally, ESPN.com’s Jeff Borzello reports.

The 20-year-old will forego two years of collegiate eligibility by doing so.

Bolden served as one of the Bruins’ top defensive players, even if he didn’t show much as an offensive threat in terms of immediate professional viability. A source informed SNY.tv’s Adam Zagoria that he plans to return to his home country and play professionally there. Although, Bolden will almost certainly attempt to make a run at the 2017 NBA draft, even if he’s still considered a raw talent at this juncture of his career.

Either way, this brings an abrupt and, for Bruins fans, likely unsatisfying end to Bolden’s time in Los Angeles. The NCAA deemed the foreign product ineligible for the 2014-15 season, and he ended up playing his one campaign at the storied program during a season that saw the team finish 15-17 (6-12 in Pac-12 play) and in 10th in its conference.

Bolden finished three games with double-digit points, including what turned out to be his final college tilt in a Pac-12 tournament loss to USC, and also snared at least 10 rebounds in three contests.

Incoming freshman T.J. Leaf and Lonzo Ball will have more asked of them upon arrival. Gyorgy Goloman will also figure to have a bigger workload as a result of Bolden’s decision. The latter averaged barely two points per game last season, though, so teenage contributors could be key for the Bruins’ frontcourt.

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