Ten weeks after turning 20, the young Barça base Leandro Nicolás Bolmaro (Las Varilla, Córdoba, Argentina) became the player chosen in the highest position in the NBA draft (23rd) in the history of ArgentinaBut his adventure in the best league in the world may wait. “Until the end of this season, I will not close anything. There are still 3 or 4 months here, the most important part, which is the final part. And then I will see, with my agent and my family, what is best for me: if the best thing for me is to leave or continue training at Barça“, declares Bolmaro in an interview with EFE.
And, since he made the jump to the first team last season, his status as a Barça player has only improved. And he now lives in a privileged situation at the Catalan club, sharing a dressing room with a group of “very good” players from whom he learns “things every day” and with whom he can win everything this season. Injuries to Thomas Heurtel and Kevin Pangos last season precipitated their rise to professional basketball. Then Svetislav Pesic rescued him from Barça B so that he could help out at the base position.
“At the beginning it was a bit difficult for me to play there, but in the end I adapted well. This year is totally different: I took a step forward in maturity and in learning to manage the team, in keeping the playing times,” he says. The arrival of Sarunas Jasikevicius to the Palau Blaugrana bench has been fundamental. “He is always giving me advice and, from the first day he arrived, he has been telling me things to improve at the base position. He is a coach who brings out the best in us every day and always seeks perfection, and I like that “, he emphasizes about the Lithuanian coach.
In addition, sharing a wardrobe with an experienced base from Nick Calathes has also helped him: “It is impressive how he plays, nothing is lost. He always tells me that I must have control of the game, see the defenders that the opponent has and look for the advantages there. “Despite everything, Bolmaro continues to defend that he is a natural guard.” I feel comfortable in both positions, but I like it more play than ‘2’ “, he confesses. Like his idol, Manu Ginobili, the culprit that he went from athletics to basketball watching the San Antonio Spurs on television.
“Manu is something else. A genius, a crack that I admire a lot. I need a lot to be like him And, that they compare me now, it does not make sense. But I want to follow in his footsteps little by little, “adds the Barça player, accustomed to his name being associated with Ginobili’s since he began to emerge in his country as a youth.
Barça, who signed him in the summer of 2018 to reinforce the subsidiary, made him a professional contract until 2023 shortly before the New York Knicks chose him for later cede his NBA rights to the Minnesota Timberwolves. There, Pablo Prigioni, from Córdoba like Bolmaro, celebrates his first year as an assistant coach. “Sometimes, I talk to Pablo about how they are and how the franchise is going, but there is nothing concrete about when I will be able to go, “he explains.
In any case, the Argentine seems to have no rush to go to the United States, as he feels privileged to be able to enjoy minutes in which he considers to be “the best team in Europe.” “I am happy with my present. I feel grateful for being able to learn every day from the best and for improving and feeling better every year,” says Bolmaro, who now says he is “enjoying” for sharing costumes with “two legends” like Nikola Mirotic and Pau Gasol.
At 20 years old, his great size (2.01 m.) And his defensive intensity already make him a more than interesting player, but the Argentine still knows that he has a lot of room for improvement. “I have to mature in details such as shooting, dribbling, passing or vision of the game. And with time I am sure that things will work out to get there. It’s a matter of gaining experience, “he reflects. Along the way, he hopes to claim” revenge “this summer for having stayed at the gates of playing the 2019 World Cup in China with Argentina. More mature, he hopes to be selected for the Olympic Games from Tokyo.
“Always being in the national team is a dream, and more so in the Olympics, which would be the first for me. If I have that opportunity, I’m sure I will make the most of it“, sentence. Before, Barça aspires to win its third Euroleague, but if they are given a choice, although he admits that it is a” complicated “decision, Leandro Bolmaro is clear:” The gold medal at the Olympic Games. “