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Meet John Bol, the 7ft 'cheat code' who's strikingly similar to Manute and Bol Bol

Joshua Rogers June 7, 2022
Meet John Bol, the 7ft 'cheat code' who's strikingly similar to Manute and Bol Bol

Here, we take a look at John Bol, the 7ft 2in, 205lb center from Sudan who looks destined to make the NBA.

With basketball becoming a more global game, we’re seeing more and more overseas players gracing the NBA. During the past few years a number of huge big men have entered the league, including Kristaps Porzingis, Tacko Fall, Thon Maker and Bol Bol.

One youngster destined for the same path is John Bol, a South Sudanese basketball player who’s making waves on the high-school circuit under the tutelage of Jayson Tatum’s father.

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Meet John Bol who is learning under Justin Tatum

John Bol is a 7ft 2in, 205lb center with a near 8ft wingspan who is almost impossible to miss. Bol was born in Natinga, South Sudan, in 1999 but spent time living in Nairobi, Kenya, with his brother.

It was in Nairobi when Bol first started playing basketball and, after showing a natural flair for the game, his family decided to move the 22-year-old to the US. He settled in St Louis, Missouri, and attends Christian Brothers High School (CBC), where he is coached by Jayson Tatum’s father, Justin.

His basketball career so far

John Bol is a class of 2024 recruit and the No. 24 recruit in the US in his class.

Per Yahoo Sports!, John speaks five languages (including Arabic, English and Swahili) and is currently learning Spanish.

However, it is on the basketball court playing for CBC and MoKan Elite on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League circuit where he has really flourished. Last month, John Bol broke the school record for most blocks (97) in a single season.  

“I can defend anyone, one through five,” Bol says. “I talk a lot on the defensive end. I have a jump shot too, with a soft touch around the rim that I’m still working on right now.”

As a sophomore at CBC, Bol averaged ten points and nine rebounds per game in 27 games played.

Bol already has scholarship offers from several high-major schools programmes, including Illinois, Kansas State, Michigan and Missouri. As reported by On3, he has also received a scholarship offer from Michigan head coach Juwan Howard. However, for now he is focusing on honing his skills before graduating high school in a couple of years.

On 6 June 2022, John revealed he will attend Sunrise Christian Academy, a Nike Elite High School Basketball Program, for the coming season:

Given their physical similarities and background, many fans have wondered whether John Bol is related to Manute Bol and Bol Bol. Manute Bol was a Sudanese-American professional basketball player who is tied with Gheorghe Mureșan as the tallest player in NBA history (7ft 6in).

Manute was drafted in 1985 and spent ten years in the NBA, where he established himself as one of the best shot-blockers in NBA history.

Manute’s son, Bol Bol, is also in the NBA and is currently playing for the Orlando Magic. The 7ft 2in center played college basketball for the Oregon Ducks after moving to the US from Sudan at an early age.

However, John Bol shares no relation to Manute and Bol Bol despite the fact they come from Sudan and share the same surname.

You can find John on Instagram @john_bol_ where he uploads videos of him working out and training:

Do you think John Bol will make it to the NBA? Let us know in the comments below.

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.