Kamloops, BC—Josh Wolfram will be playing pro basketball this fall. The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack alum has signed a two year contract with Umea BSKT of the Sweden-Basketligan league.
The 6’10” South Kamloops graduate completed his CIS career with the WolfPack this past season being named a Canada West all-star along with Basketball BC’s Male University Basketball Player of the Year.
“After CIS Nationals I was contacted by a number of agents,” said Wolfram, who is completing his Bachelor of Business Administration degree at TRU. “I went with Matt Slan and he got me a number of job offers. This was the best. Umea wants me to be a ‘go to’ guy immediately and it is a guaranteed contact.”
Wolfram also had interest from teams in Finland and the Czech Republic.
“This is a great move for Josh, “says WolfPack head coach Scott Clark. “ He is going to a country that is very similar to Canada as far as a standard of living goes. It is very good basketball. He is a very good basketball player and a great first step for Josh to becoming a professional basketball player.”
Wolfram played 20 games last year for TRU averaging 19 points (11th in the CIS) and 9.6 rebounds per game (9th in the nation). He was fifth in Canada in defensive rebounds (139).
He started his CIS career with Calgary and played the final three with the WolfPack. Wolfram has career stats with TRU of 58 games, averaging 16 points per game, 524 rebounds, 59 blocks and 59 steals.
Wolfram has played international basketball before as he was a member of Team Canada at the 2015 FISU games in South Korea. He averaged 3.8 points and 3.1 rebounds in 13.1 minutes of court time as Canada finished 7th.
The Sweden-Basketligan is an 11 team league which plays a 30 game schedule. Wolfram will be one of two imports on Umea. The other is American George Valentine.
“We are very excited to have inked a contract with Josh for next season,” stated Umea BSKT head coach Jesper Gustavsson. “We are looking forward to seeing him in Sweden next season and being a big part of our team. I’ve heard only good things about him and he should fit great into what we’re doing on and off the court.”
Wolfram was nominated for the Kamloops Sports Council University Athlete of the Year for his achievements in 2015. During his time at TRU, he was a leader in the team’s community involvement including serving Christmas Dinner at the New Life Community Kitchen, raising funds for Raise A Reader and McHappy Day. He was also involved in coaching a regional team in the Basketball BC development program.
“It will definitely be a step up from the CIS but I will be ready,’ says Wolfram who will stay in Kamloops and train until he leaves for Sweden in mid-August. He will also be a guest instructor at the Olynyk Klynyk next month at the Tournament Capital Centre.
Wolfram is the third member of the South Kamloops Titans 2009-10 team to play professional basketball following in the steps of Kelly Olynyk of the NBA Boston Celtics and John Bantock, who played in the United Kingdom. “To think that three of us have gone onto play pro—especially one in the NBA from one team in a smaller center is definitely unique,’ he says.
DOUBLE DRIBBLES: Wolfram says Umea is a city of about 110 thousand people: 40 thousand of which are students. The weather is very similar to Vancouver with the temperature in the winter falling to minus five.
Clark says Wolfram has a great opportunity: “Josh is in a good situation. He will see a great part of the world and get paid to play a game he loves, basketball. It will be fun for a young guy. If I was 24 and could get paid to play and see the world, personally it would really be fun. Josh should have a great time. We are very proud of his development over the years and wish him luck.”
(with assistance from Slan Sports Management)