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Jakob Pöltl
Jakob Poeltl (39692527595).jpg
Pöltl with Raptors in 2018
No. 42 – Toronto Raptors
Position Center
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1995-10-15) October 15, 1995 (age 22)
Vienna, Austria
Nationality Austrian
Listed height 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
Listed weight 230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
College Utah (2014–2016)
NBA draft 2016 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9th overall
Selected by the Toronto Raptors
Playing career 2013–present
Career history
2013–2014 Traiskirchen Lions
2016–present Toronto Raptors
2016–2017 Raptors 905
Career highlights and awards
Stats at
Stats at

Jakob Pöltl (German pronunciation: ['ja:kop 'pœltl]; born October 15, 1995 in Vienna, Austria) is an Austrian professional basketball player for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Utah Utes. In his sophomore year, Pöltl was a consensus second-team All-American, and won the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award and Pete Newell Big Man Award as the top collegiate center and low-post player, respectively. After the season, he declared for the 2016 NBA draft, where the Raptors selected him in the first round with the ninth overall pick.

Early life

Pöltl was born in Vienna, Austria. Both his parents were members of the Austrian national volleyball teams.[1] His parents opted for basketball because there was a youth basketball program near their Vienna home during his childhood.[2] He played one year for the Arkadia Traiskirchen Lions of the Austrian Bundesliga in 2013–14.[3][4][2]

College recruitment

Pöltl was relatively unknown in the United States until the 2013 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship. University of Utah assistant Andy Hill went to the tournament, held in Macedonia, largely to scout potential prospects from other teams; he only saw Austria's opening game against the Netherlands because he vowed to watch all 38 teams in person. After seeing Pöltl's 15-rebound performance, Hill began sounding Pöltl out for potential interest in playing college basketball in the United States. Pöltl went on to average a double-double in points and rebounds during the tournament and was named to the second all-tournament team, despite Austria going 1–6 and finishing 20th out of 22 teams in the second-level Division B.[2]

Pöltl began drawing interest from several NCAA Division I programs, forcing him to decide between a professional career and a U.S. college education. In a 2014 interview, Pöltl revealed part of his decision-making process:[2]

If I went pro in Europe, I probably wouldn't have a chance to go to a university and get my degree. . . . I could have basketball and an education at the same time [in the U.S.]. Also I think I wasn't ready for 100 percent professional basketball at that time.

In 2014, Pöltl committed to Utah to play college basketball.[5] According to Yahoo! Sports writer Jeff Eisenberg, "the biggest reason Pöltl chose Utah was the relationship he had built with the Utes staff."[2] Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak was one of three Division I head coaches and 2 assistant coaches to travel to Vienna to recruit him in person, and made the trip of over 5,000 miles (8,000 km) twice. Pöltl was impressed that Krystkowiak made the effort to visit with him in person, and Eisenberg added that Pöltl "also liked the idea of being coached by a 6-foot-9 former NBA forward with a history of developing young big men."[2]

College career

Pöltl became a starter in his first year, and in his first game he scored 18 points and had 10 rebounds.[6] During his second season in 2015-16, he was named to the 35-man midseason watchlist for the Naismith Trophy on February 11.[7] On March 7, 2016, Pöltl was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year and All-Pac-12 First Team. He was subsequently named the winner of both the Pete Newell Big Man Award and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award.

On April 13, 2016, Pöltl declared for the NBA draft, forgoing his final two years of college eligibility.[8][9]

College statistics

2014–15 Utah 34 34 23.3 .681 .000 .444 6.8 .7 .4 1.9 9.1
2015–16 Utah 36 36 30.4 .646 .000 .692 9.1 1.9 .6 1.6 17.2
Career 70 70 26.9 .658 .000 .607 8.0 1.3 .5 1.7 13.3

Professional career

Toronto Raptors (2016–present)

On June 23, 2016, Pöltl was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the ninth overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft, becoming the first ever Austrian to be drafted to the NBA.[10] On July 9, 2016, he signed his rookie scale contract with the Raptors.[11] He made his debut for the Raptors in their season opener on October 26, 2016, becoming the first Austrian to play in the NBA. He finished with two points in 12:47 of court time in a 109–91 win over the Detroit Pistons.[12] During his rookie season, Pöltl received multiple assignments to Raptors 905, Toronto's D-League affiliate.[13]

On October 21, 2017, Pöltl scored a then career-high 14 points in a 128–94 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.[14] On December 1, 2017, he made all eight of his field goal attempts and had a career-high 18 points in a 120–115 win over the Indiana Pacers.[15] Pöltl ended the 2017–18 regular season having made 34 of his last 39 shots in the final eight games. He was also the only Raptors player to appear in all 82 regular-season contests.[16]

NBA career statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season

2016–17 Toronto 54 4 11.6 .583 - .544 3.1 .2 .3 .4 3.1
2017–18 Toronto 82 0 18.6 .659 .500 .594 4.8 .7 .5 1.2 6.9
Career 136 4 15.8 .641 .500 .576 4.1 .5 .4 .9 5.4


2017 Toronto 6 0 4.3 .455 - .000 2.0 .0 .2 .2 1.7
2018 Toronto 9 0 15.6 .548 .000 .789 4.0 .7 .3 .4 5.4
Career 15 0 11.1 .524 .000 .714 3.2 .4 .3 .3 3.9


  1. ^ Myerberg, Paul (March 21, 2015). "Jakob Poeltl's path to Utah is paved with promise". Retrieved March 21, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Eisenberg, Jeff (December 8, 2014). "How Utah landed fast-rising NBA prospect Jakob Poeltl". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved April 14, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Jakob Pöltl stats". Retrieved March 10, 2015. 
  4. ^ Goon, Kyle (March 10, 2015). "Utah basketball: Jakob Poeltl comes out of his (Austrian) shell". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved March 10, 2015. 
  5. ^ "UTAH MEN'S BASKETBALL ADDS JAKOB POELTL". April 25, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  6. ^ Sorensen, Mike (March 11, 2016). "The puzzle of Poeltl — will he stay or will he go?". Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  7. ^ Payne, Terrence (February 11, 2016). "Naismith Trophy midseason list announced". Fox Sports. Retrieved February 19, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Utah center Jakob Poeltl declares for NBA draft". April 13, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016. 
  9. ^ Goon, Kyle (April 13, 2016). "Utah basketball: Jakob Poeltl will enter 2016 NBA draft". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved April 30, 2016. 
  10. ^ Ewing, Lori (June 23, 2016). "NBA Draft: Toronto Raptors draft Jakob Poeltl 9th". Retrieved June 23, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Raptors Sign First Round Picks Poeltl & Siakam". July 9, 2016. Retrieved July 9, 2016. 
  12. ^ "DeRozan's 40 leads Raptors to 109-91 win over Pistons". October 26, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2016. 
  13. ^ "2016-17 NBA Assignments". Retrieved March 21, 2017. 
  14. ^ "DeRozan scores 30 as Raptors rout 76ers 128-94". October 21, 2017. Retrieved October 21, 2017. 
  15. ^ "DeMar DeRozan scores 26 points, Raptors top Pacers 120-115". December 1, 2017. Retrieved December 2, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Ellington sets Heat record, Miami tops Toronto 116-109". April 11, 2018. Retrieved April 11, 2018. 

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