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Bolden selected 18th overall in NBA D-League Draft

Photo Credit: Windsor Express Facebook Page

Those guys feel confident in me and I'm confident in them. I'm just going to go in and take it a day at a time.

Maurice Bolden, who played with the Windsor Express in the 2015-16 season, has been selected in the first round of the NBA Developmental League Draft.

The 27-year-old forward – known to many fans as Mo Bolden – was picked 18th overall by the Austin Spurs, the D-League affiliate for the San Antonio Spurs. The team announced their first pick of the draft via Twitter:
"It's a great organization and I heard a lot of great things about it," said Bolden after being drafted. "Those guys feel confident in me and I'm confident in them. I'm just going to go in and take it a day at a time."

The six-foot-ten, 200-pound big man averaged 10.1 points per game, just under two assists per game and about seven rebounds per game in 47 games last season with the Express.

Bolden, who played college basketball for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, also played two seasons with the London Lightning from 2013-2015.

"Windsor gave me opportunities this year to utilize my talents with (Express head) coach Bill Jones and (interim head coach) Tony Jones," said Bolden, noting he is thankful for the opportunities NBL Canada gave him. "I would also like to thank the London Lightning organization for helping me become who am I with youth and the community ... they were a big help for me in becoming a man and helping my character and carrying myself on and off the court."

Bolden explained he is fully committed to the Spurs organization and will be leaving for training camp immediately. He said while the Express own his Canadian rights, he never re-signed with the team prior to the draft. He explained he is setting his full focus on the NBA franchise.

"There is a level of excitement that sometimes can't be described when the goals and objectives of both your organization and the individual goals of a player are met," said Express president and CEO Dartis Willis. "I put this team together for the purpose of the city to enjoy it and the purpose of giving the players the opportunity to develop themselves to get a better opportunity to play at a higher level, being the NBA."

Willis explained that with players like Bolden making the NBA D-League, his "time and money spent was not in vain" because he met one of his main objectives of being an NBLC franchise owner and bringing the team to Windsor.

"We're on the sideline rooting he makes the team," said Willis.

Shortly after the Spurs selected him, Bolden posted a photo on Instagram of his son in a team jersey:

Photo Credit: Maurice Bolden's Instagram

Bolden explained that his mother used to live in San Antonio. His son's grandfather also lives in the city, who is a big Spurs fan.

"The picture was perfect (for the moment)," he said. "As soon as they called me, I thought about that picture and about my son instantly. All the hard work I've put in has been for him, so I wanted to put that picture up to show my love for my son and for the organization."

As for the Express, Willis mentioned a lot of its players have gone on to become or have been leaders in other leagues such as Quinnel Brown, Tony Bennett and Brandon Robinson, who officially signed with Club Osorno Básquetbol in Chile's Liga Nacional de Basquetbol Sept 8.

"We do not want our players to be lifetime Windsor Express players. We want these guys to go get a better opportunity and do exactly what Mo did," said Willis. "This is not new to us. We won't cry over it - we'll celebrate it and rebuild."

Bolden was one of six former, current or potential future National Basketball League of Canada players on the draft board. Four of these players, including the Windsor sensation, have appeared in an NBL Canada game.

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