In far-away Macedonia, a baller who played in the 2013 FIBA (The International Basketball Federation) European Under-18 Championship attracted the attention of Andy Hill, a sports assistant at the University of Utah, after watching his performance of 15 rebounds in the opening game of the tournament. This boy is now a national association of basketball professionals – Jakob Poeltl or more appropriately written Jakob Pöltl.
Jakob has since then set foot on American soil and made a name for himself in basketball. He was primarily named as the consensus second division All-American, won the Pete Newell Big Man Award, and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, all in his college days, after which he was the ninth overall in the NBA. You can find out more about him here.
Jakob Poeltl: Biography, Age
Under the sign of Libra, Jakob Poeltl was born in Vienna on October 15, 1995, the son of parents who were both volleyball players in the Austrian national volleyball teams. There are no detailed records of his family, but it is known that he has a sister named Miriam, while his mother’s name is Martina Poeltl and his father’s name is Rainer Ömer.
Although his parents were professional volleyball players, they chose basketball for Jakob because there was an organized youth basketball program near their home where he could enroll. So he ventured into basketball from a family with a tendency towards volleyball. When Jakob Poeltl came of age, he became a member of the Arkadia Traiskirchen Lions, which eliminated him in the Austrian Bundesliga.
The boy had an amazing season 2013/14, in which he scored 12.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, and a block per game of 2.3. Due to his talent, he was not considered to be inadequate in his country’s youth basketball team, where he mainly represented Austria and participated in the 2013 FIBA European Under-18 Championship. After Jakob’s impressive performance at this tournament, Andy Hill, a sports assistant at the University of Utah who traveled to Macedonia, where the tournament was held in Southeastern Europe, felt it was appropriate to develop his ball skills in America.
At this stage of his young life, Poeltl had the opportunity to go pro in Europe or America or to graduate from college. But being a smart man, he knew that he was not quite ready to become a professional B-ball player, just as he appreciated the importance of getting a degree while improving his basketball skills. America was a better option because there were colleges (especially the University of Utah) that could offer him the best of both worlds. So he committed to playing for the Utah Utes College men’s basketball team in 2014, having already established a relationship with their coaching staff.
For the Utah Utes, Jakob Poeltl played two seasons (2014/15 and 2015/16), playing a total of 70 games, with a free-throw percentage of 0.605, blocks per game of 1.7, and a field goal percentage of 0.658 as his center. The Austrian ballplayer won a number of awards in his second season, whereupon he decided to forgo the last two years of his college qualification to enter the 2016 NBA Draft.
The Toronto Raptors brought Jakob Poeltl on their side as the 9th overall selection in the 2016 NBA Draft, which took place on June 23, 2016. After signing his contract as a rookie, he was sent to the Raptors D-League daughter – Raptors 905 – where he spent a very short time before returning to the main team.
The boy played a total of 136 games for the Ontario-based team, of which he scored a free-throw rate of 0.576, blocks per game of 0.9, rebounds per game of 4.1, and a field goal rate of 0.641.
After two seasons with the Toronto Raptors, Jakob was traded to DeMar DeRozan on July 18, 2018, to continue his career with the San Antonio Spurs, as Toronto received a protected selection for the first round of 2019 in return for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. Jakob’s NBA career is still in its infancy and he is expected to blossom over time into one of the best players in the league, if not to dominate the sport for a long time to come.
With 2.13 m (7 feet 0 inches) and 104 kg (230 lbs), Jakob Poeltl is indeed a big man on the court. Despite his outstanding height, the Austrian ballplayer is quite agile, has excellent ball-handling skills, and is able to perform many shots from close range with each of his hands.