Stepinac's Bolding among nation's elite
By KEVIN DEVANEY JR.
THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original Publication: July 10, 2006)
TEANECK, N.J. — When the rosters for the Reebok ABCD Camp underclassman
all-star game were officially released yesterday, Melquan Bolding wasn't
the least bit surprised to see his name on the list.
"I knew I was good enough to make it all week," the Stepinac junior said.
"That's what I came here to do."
Bolding, an athletic 6-foot-3 guard from Beacon, certainly proved he
belongs among the nation's elite this past week at Fairleigh Dickinson
University. He averaged 7.3 points and guided his team to a 6-1 record to
earn an all-star spot.
In the all-star game, which is essentially a dunking showcase with no
defense, Bolding played limited minutes and had a quiet four points on
2-of-3 shooting. But by that point, he had nothing left to prove.
"I wanted to come out here and play hard, show I can shoot from the outside
and play good defense," said Bolding, a Journal News first team all-star
last season. "I think I proved all those things."
Bolding, who has only one year of high school eligibility remaining, has
been on the radar at St. John's, Louisville, Villanova, Miami, UConn and
Florida State over the last two years. But his stock soared during the
It's all due to Bolding's attempt to reshape his reputation.
The biggest knock on him has always been his defensive intensity, and in a
venue such as ABCD camp, slacking off when you don't have the ball is the
norm. But Bolding didn't fall into that trap.
"He played hard all week," said Tom Konchalski, the region's most respected
recruiting analyst. "He played hard because he knew he had to. I think the
reason he coasts and goes on cruise control sometimes is because he's so
much more athletic against the A Division in the CHSAA. But I thought he
"I told him I didn't care about anything else, just play good defense and
play hard," Stepinac coach Tim Philp said. "I think he did that this week.
He shut down whoever he was guarding, he stepped in to play help defense,
and he ran the floor well. He proved that he's the Division I player he
knows he can be."
Bolding, who plays AAU ball with the New York Panthers, also displayed his
improving perimeter game. He's long been adept at getting out in transition
and at penetrating and attacking the basket. But Bolding proved at this
camp that he's a better mid-range shooter than he gets credit for.
He was far more selective with the ball and hit 20 of 37 from the floor.
His .541 field-goal percentage was among the top 20 percent in the camp.
"His jump shot is getting a lot better, and he can handle the ball more
now," said Holy Cross junior Sylven Landesberg, who was Bolding's roommate
during the week. "And he can jump, which has always been his specialty."
Bolding saved his best game of the week for his roommate. In Thursday's
night session, he went head-to-head with the 6-6 Landesberg and scored a
team-high 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting with three rebounds, two assists and
two steals in his team's 72-55 win.
The game didn't affect their relationship, however.
"Melquan was great. He's such a clown," Landesberg said. "He kept me up
late a few nights with the jokes. But when we were out on the court during
the day, he was all business."
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