A 7-foot-7, 16-year-old high school basketball player has made the rounds nationally following his U.S. high school debut earlier this month with the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. Thanks to his coach, Bobby Bossman, we now know a little more about the Romanian-born manchild that is Robert Bobroczky, and about how he wound up in Ohio.
Bossman recently spoke with the New York Post about his freakishly tall player, and how he found the second-tallest basketball player in the world.
“He’s obviously one of a kind,” said Bobby Bossman, his coach at Spire Institute, a certified Olympic training facility. “The kid’s work ethic is absolutely unbelievable. You ask him to do anything, and he’s going to do it.”
A few years ago, Bossman saw videos of Bobroczky and was immediately intrigued. Bobroczky stood 7-foot-3, and Bossman could see limitless potential. He got in touch with him and his family over the phone and through Skype, and they set up a visit. Bobroczky comes from a basketball family. His father played on the Romanian national team with Gheorghe Muresan, at 7-foot-7 the tallest player in NBA history.
After spending the past two years with Italian club Stella Azzurra, Bobroczky enrolled in the fall at Spire. Bossman raves about his skill set: a smooth jump shot, strong ability in the post and soft hands. In practice, Bobroczky hits 3-pointers. Still, Spire is bringing him along slowly, letting him get acquainted with his new surroundings and the speed of the game. As an independent program, they play a national schedule, taking on public and private schools, even junior colleges, from all over.
Here’s a video of Bobroczky in action, in case you haven’t seen it yet:
This is just so incredible. He’s so darn skinny and so uncoordinated. He’s like the kid that grew tall way before everyone else but had no coordination. But it’s interesting that Bossman told the Post he’s not pushing Bobroczky for immediate results; he expects skill to come in time.
“I tell him, I don’t care if you score a point or grab a rebound,” Bossman said. “We want you to be comfortable, we want you to have fun, and everything else will take care of itself.”
Of course, there’s such a long way to go. Conventional knowledge says colleges and pro teams would be salivating over the potential of Bobroczky, but this kid can’t just go off his size alone. He has to develop skills to go along with his height. He also needs to put on some more weight; Bossman mentioned that they’re hoping to have him at 215 pounds next year, when they’re expecting him to be more of a regular player, rather than his current 195. Still, Bobroczky certainly has some potential, and you can’t teach height. His father’s basketball background is promising, too. He’s come a long way to chase his dream; it will be interesting to watch and see where he goes from here.