Eastern Illinois men’s basketball head coach Marty Simmons has completed his first recruiting class as the Panthers have signed Rodolfo Rufino Bolis.
Bolis (6’7, 205) is a forward from Espirto Santo, Brazil that comes to EIU after participating for the NBA Academy Latin America program.
Bolis attended the NBA Academy Latin America which is based in Mexico City and is an elite training center for the top male and female prospects from throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, Canada and South America. In the most recent NBA Academy Games series, Bolis averaged 8.5 points, 6 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game during tournament action against other NBA Academy teams.
“Rodolfo is an active, high energy player. He is a tremendous rebounder, especially on the offensive end of the floor,” said Simmons. “He fits our style of play and will provide some needed size and strength to our roster. We are excited about his athletic ability and can’t wait to welcome him to the EIU family.”
In addition to his experience with the NBA Academy Latin America, Bolis has played on the Brazil U15, U16 and U17 teams competing in the South American Championships. He helped Brazil win the FIBA U17 South American Championship and during the FIBA U16 South American Championships, Bolis averaged 13.5 points and 14.8 rebounds per game.
NBA Academy is a year-round elite basketball development initiative that provides top high school-age prospects from outside the U.S. with a holistic approach to player development and a predictable pathway to maximize their potential. The NBA Academy program includes six academies across Australia, China, India, Mexico and Senegal for top prospects from their respective countries and continents.
The NBA identifies prospective athletes through a global network of scouts, relationships with local federations around the world, the mobile basketball training application HomeCourt, and the league’s other international basketball development programs: Jr. NBA, NBA Basketball School and Basketball Without Borders. Prospective NBA Academy athletes are evaluated based on skill level, character and long-term potential.
The program focuses on health and wellness, character development and life skills, and gives prospects the opportunity to learn the game from coaches who the NBA hires with professional, collegiate and international coaching experience.
As part of the program, the prospects compete against top competition throughout the year and have an opportunity to be selected for travel teams that play in international tournaments and exhibition games.
Since the launch of the program, more than 50 NBA Academies participants have committed to NCAA D1 schools, and eight NBA academy graduates are playing or signed to play professionally. Notable alumni from the NBA Academy Latin America are Bennedict Mathurin (Arizona), Santiago Vescovi (Tennessee), Olivier Maxence Prosper (Clemson) and Oumar Ballo (Arizona).
Bolis becomes the eighth member of EIU’s 2021 recruiting class joining CJ Lane (6’5, G, Florida SouthWestern College/Eatonville, Fla.), Myles Baker (6’3, G, Central Connecticut State/Chicago, Ill.), Elijah Wood (6’5, G, Univ. of Nebraska/Potomac, Md.), Jermaine Hamlin (6’10, F, Univ. of Illinois/Lincoln, Ill.), Paul Bizimana (6’8, F, Haltom HS/Haltom City, Texas), Kejuan Clements (6’2, G, Triton College/Chicago, Ill.) and Chris Robinson (5’11, G, Hutchinson CC/Brooklyn, NY).