Updated: Jun 11, 2022
Standing 6’8” with a plus-wingspan, Bobi Klintman fits a highly sought-after role in college basketball — he has the ability to guard multiple positions, attack the basket, stretch the floor and make plays for others. Klintman has been a standout for RIG Mark Academy in Sweden and recently made the jump to the pro level with Boras to continue gaining experience and test his skill against older competition. While he is still rounding out certain aspects of his perimeter game, he has shown really positive progression in his development.
Klintman picked up his first offer from the University of San Francisco in the summer of 2020, but due to his recent play and exposure more universities have since taken notice. Klintman now holds offers from Kansas, Utah, Virginia, Rutgers, Santa Clara, and Nebraska, as well. While he does have a good idea who he plans to visit, he is still eager to be seen and is communicating with other interested institutions. He has been making a name for himself this past season, and that only looks to continue as he weighs coming over to the states for his senior year.
No matter where he ends up, Klintman will provide versatility at the forward position, the ability to stretch the floor and a plus-feel for the game that he’ll look to continue building on. Look for him to try and assert himself on the U.S. map next season as he is hungry to continue proving himself.
This interview delves into Klintman’s background, his basketball experiences in Sweden, his desire to play in the U.S., why he looks up to Giannis, what his goals are as a player, and much more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2022 prospect Bobi Klintman, from Malmö, Sweden:
Pro Insight: Tell us a bit about your background.
Bobi Klintman: I’m born in Sweden, my mom is also Swedish and my dad is from Senegal, Africa. I’ve played basketball since I was like four years old. My parents are separated and my bonus father, he’s a head coach and played basketball when he was younger. He is a head coach here in Sweden so growing up I was always on the sidelines shooting with him everywhere, so I just really fell in love with the game from 3-4 years old. Everything started there, then I started to play with my cousin and my brother when I was around eight years old. I just fell in love with the game and I wanted to just get better all the time. I switched teams when I started high school and I moved from my family, I moved to Gothenburg, Sweden. I’m originally from Malmö, Sweden, so I moved like three hours away from my family and started at RIG Mark Academy. I think I’ve developed very much here, it’s a great academy. Then COVID came and things got worse, so I switched teams to a pro league team here in Sweden and that’s where I’m at right now.
PI: You're listed at 6'8" tall — where did you get your height from?
BK: I would say my father because he’s like 6’6” tall and my mom is pretty tall too, she’s 176 cm [~5’9” tall], so yeah I think it’s from my parents.
PI: Can you talk a little about your athletic background?
BK: My bonus father, he’s the one who put me in the basketball world because he played from age 18 years old to when he was grown and he played in Sweden in the highest league. I think he played in Spain too, and he was pretty good. So he put me into basketball, my [older] brother also plays and he’s playing at Scotland Campus Prep. Then I’ve got two cousins who also play basketball, they play here at my high school right now [Rig Mark Academy], they’re good too. I think that’s my athletic background — got some soccer players in the family too, but yeah that’s it.
PI: Did you play any other sports growing up?
BK: Yeah, I played soccer, wrestling, but I wasn’t wrestling for that long [laughs]. I was swimming too, I was playing hockey without ice, floorball. I played handball. I played a lot of sports when I was young, but I fell in love with basketball so I stick with basketball the most.
PI: For those that aren’t super familiar with your game — what are your greatest strengths on the court?
BK: I would say I’ve got a pretty good three-point shot. I’m pretty athletic, too. I’ve got a good feel for the game, good playmaker, and I have pretty good handles for my size. So I would say those are my biggest strengths. I’m pretty versatile, too.
PI: What do you feel you still need to improve on the most?
BK: I would say my defense, because if I would be a better defender, if I could defend well at multiple positions and then be good at offense that would be really scary. I would say gain some weight, too — get bigger. I think that would take my game to another level. I think that’s what I need to improve.
PI: What are some underrated parts of your game you feel you don’t get enough credit for?
BK: I would say my athleticism. I’m athletic, but a lot of people don’t know that. They don’t know I can dunk, so I’m shocking them — so that’s one underrated aspect of my game. One thing I saw when I came to the higher level here in Sweden, they think just because I’m young they're disrespecting my shot you know, so they’re letting me shoot open shots. So I’m just taking that and shooting the ball, so that’s good. They’re like thinking just because I’m young I’m not good.
PI: Who has been your toughest individual matchup you’ve ever faced?
BK: That’s a good question, I would say I’ve faced many tough matchups. One of them was last week when we played Lulea and they have a guy named Tristin Walley, he’s really good. I think that’s one of the toughest matchups and I would say a guy on my team here at high school, his name is Romeo Myrthil [committed to Dartmouth], he’s playing in the league [Swedish league] right now too, but on another team. He can do it all: he can shoot, defend, he’s strong, all of that stuff. So I would say that’s one of my toughest matchups.
PI: What has the adjustment from RIG Academy to Boras been like?
BK: I would say it’s a big adjustment. The speed and physicality is much tougher in the higher league. People are coming from college and stuff like that so you really get to develop in another way. I think that’s the good thing about it because I’m developing faster, I’m playing against players who are bigger and stronger than me and they know more about the game. So I think that’s really good. The easy part is I’m playing with good players so they make me better and I think that’s good, too.
PI: Is this the first time you've played above your age group?
BK: Nah, I’ve always played with [players] two years older than me, so I’m used to that. But this is a grown man so it’s another thing, you know?
PI: Do you model your game after anyone in particular?
BK: I wouldn’t say that I model my game after anybody, but I would say I get compared to different players. I like Giannis the most, but I’ve gotten compared to De’Andre Hunter. I also think I’m pretty similar to him when I watch his game. But I’m also trying to be a bit different because there aren’t many 6’8” players who can play the PG spot, too, and that’s what I’m trying to develop. To also play the guard spot, to be a threat at the guard spot. That’s also one of my things I’m trying to develop.
PI: You seem to have some real passing ability — is that another underrated aspect of your game?
BK: Yeah I would say that’s pretty underrated, many players want to score and I’m always looking for small stuff like setting a screen, passing ability, and stuff like that — because if you have a shot, but your teammate has a better shot then you should pass it to him. And I know everybody wants to play with a guy who can playmake because you’re always loved by your team if you’re giving them the ball, you know? So that’s one thing I’m always trying to make sure — get my teammates better, pass them the ball if they’re open, you get a free assist.
PI: What are your short term goals as a player and as a person?
BK: To perform in the U18 European Championship, go to college and be the best player I can be, try to get ready for college, and yeah that’s my short term goals right now. I would also say, as I said before, to work on my game, work on my skill-set, and get bigger.
PI: How about long term?
BK: It’s the NBA for sure, it’s the NBA. To be an All-Star, to be the best player I can be. I want to give everything to my mom because she’s been there from the start so I don’t want her to work when she’s like 50 years old — I want her to just like sit at home and watch my games and stuff like that so I can pay everything for her. So all my friends, my brother who has been there from the start, if he’s not making it, I want him to be like my mom, I want to do everything for him. And of course my friends, so yeah, that’s my main goal.
PI: What’s the latest with your recruitment?
BK: If you haven’t seen it yet I got many offers in February and March — there are many teams writing to me right now. I’m getting more offers for sure, but it’s harder during COVID because it’s a bit different with zoom calls and stuff like that. It’s harder to not meet the coaches in person and stuff; that’s also one negative thing with the recruitment process because you can’t go visit the school. I think that would make everything faster if you could visit schools and see how it is.
PI: Who are the schools that are staying in touch?
BK: I would say every school is staying in touch that has offered me...they’re calling like every week, keeping up with me, we’re talking on the phone. You know my five official visits, I think I’ll pick my five schools soon because I pretty much know where I want to visit so that’s one thing that’s getting done soon. I’m talking to more schools than those who have offered me and we’ll see how it goes with that, hopefully I’ll get more offers, it’s always good. It’s harder when you’re in Sweden because I’m not in the states, so it’s much harder, but I’ve been thinking about high school [in the United States] just to get put on the map and people know who I am and stuff like that — but we’ll see how it goes.
PI: What are all the factors for why you'd want to come to the United States for high school?
BK: Yeah it would be a little bit COVID related, but also like we don’t play games like they do in the states. They’re having more games and stuff like that and I think I can get more used to the American play style and that would give me positive development on the way to college. Just to get used to the American play style and it would be easier to take visits to colleges if I’m already in the states.
PI: Have you been talking with various high schools?
BK: Yeah I’ve been talking to some high schools. I’ve been talking to Sunrise Christian, Dream City Christian, Wasatch Academy, Real Salt Lake, Prolific Prep, Southern California Academy. So I’ve been in touch with many high schools, we’ll see where I land, it’s still a secret [laughs]. I’ll put it out on social media when I know.