Rookie Jakob Poeltl earning the trust of Raptors, coach Casey

Rookie Jakob Poeltl earning the trust of Raptors, coach Casey

It is a unique set of circumstances that has landed Jakob Poeltl at this point in his life and his basketball career, a point far along a path seldom taken by successful NBA rookies.Each of the circumstances is different, each is important, each has led to the 21-year-old Toronto Raptor becoming a contributing member of a very good team.He grew up in Austria, hardly a basketball hotbed. But he is the son of volleyball stars, so there’s athletic DNA coursing through his veins.He learned nuances of the game in college at Utah from Larry Krystkowiak, a former NBA player and NBA head coach who was more than capable of turning a raw kid into a solid prospect.And to infuse the narrative with a little Canadian flavour, Poeltl credits one of his more physical Utah teammates, Calgary’s Dallin Bachynski, with toughening him up during myriad college practices to prepare Poeltl for the rough-and-tumble aspects of the NBA game.Article Continued BelowIt wasn’t the usual developmental path of high-profile AAU programs, a power conference college school and every imaginable all-star showcase along the way.The Poeltl package, as it is now, is a culmination of factors and some good old instincts that are basically impossible to teach.“I don’t know where it’s coming from, I just feel comfortable out there and I feel like I know where I’m supposed to go,” Poeltl said Monday.

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