In our first Q&A with Bobi Klintman, we went in-depth on his background and basketball journey. This time, we spoke with the versatile forward about his commitment to the University of Colorado. This time last year, Klintman was an intriguing international forward who was playing professionally in Sweden, but was eager to prove himself in the United States before committing to a college program. After a year with the renowned Sunrise Christian program, Klintman feels the experience has been beneficial for getting him adjusted to the American style of play as well as seeing how he stacked up against highly-ranked prospects in the NIBC.
After initially committing to the University of Maryland, Klintman re-opened his recruitment following the departure of former Terrapin head coach Mark Turgeon. The offers and interest came pouring in as programs who were previously interested in Klintman realized they had another shot to land the Swedish prospect. And after considering each program and discussing things over with his family and Sunrise Christian head coach Luke Barnwell, Klintman felt the most comfortable with the staff and environment at the University of Colorado.
Pro Insight’s Tyler Glazier spoke with the newest Buffalo.
Pro Insight: For those who haven’t read our first Q&A together, can you talk about your basketball journey? How did you get to where you are today?
Bobi Klintman: It’s been a long journey, I’m not going to lie. It’s been a lot of hard work and hard practices. Last time we spoke I played at RIG Mark Academy in Sweden. I played there for two years. Once COVID hit and we weren’t going to have a season I decided to play with a pro team in Sweden called Boras Basket for the back half of my junior year. For my senior year, I started talking with Coach Luke [Barnwell] a lot. Me and my mom talked about it and we thought that Sunrise Christian was the move, which I’m really happy I made because I’m sitting here today. I think it helped me a lot to come to America to play basketball. I feel like I’ve grown a lot with the difference between the American to European style of basketball. So yeah, that’s where I’m at right now. Making my college decision, it’s been a lot of work.
PI: You were eager to come play in the states before going to college — do feel like it’s lived up to your expectations?
BK: Yeah it kinda has. I think it lived up to my expectations. I think it’s a lot tougher to play here, there’s a lot of good competition so you really get to play against the best. Especially in the NIBC. We played in the GEICO Nationals and went against the best teams. Even in practice I was going against the best players at my own position and stuff like that. It was great.
PI: Do you feel like you adjusted to the competition?
BK: It was challenging in the beginning, but I feel like I adjusted. I was competing so I felt like I was up there. There’s a lot of good players, but I’m a good player, too, so I feel like it was a good time.
PI: How do you feel like your game has grown over the past year?
BK: I would say I’ve always been able to score the ball, but I would say my biggest development this year was to get tougher and my defense. So I feel that’s where I’ve grown the most this year because Coach Luke is big on defense. If you can defend then that’s how you win. So that’s probably the biggest thing.
PI: Now that you’ve played here for a year — what type of advice would you give to other international prospects thinking about coming to play high school in the states?
BK: I would say always have a chip on your shoulder because there’s always people that play here in America that are ranked and stuff…they're always going to be up here [at the top]. So always have a chip on your shoulder, compete, do your best and always take advice from people that have been through this. I always talk to Coach Luke as well as players who have been here before and been in my position. Just have a chip on your shoulder is my biggest advice.
PI: You were initially committed to the University of Maryland — what was the reasoning behind re-opening your recruitment?
BK: It was because I felt like I had a really good bond with the coaching staff, that was a really big part of my commitment. So when Coach Turgeon signed out I felt like it was a bit of a risk if I stayed because I hadn’t really talked to the new coaching staff that was coming in. So I just felt like I had to re-open my recruitment.
PI: When it came down to it — what were the most important factors in choosing your next step?
BK: I would say first of all the coaching staff because the coach is going to decide if I’m going to play and they’re going to help me develop. How I fit with the program. Is it a program that’s going to shoot a lot of threes? Stuff like that. I would also say development because I’m trying to get to the next level and I want to develop. That’s what I’m big on, too. And just if it’s a good school, you know what I’m saying? I think the biggest thing is the fit because that’s going to help me in the long run. When I visited colleges and stuff I was looking at how the chemistry was with teams. Like, is it a family environment? Just the small stuff like that is also important.
PI: Who were you leaning on for guidance throughout the process?
BK: I would say mostly Coach Luke because we’ve had a lot of good players and he’s coached a lot of good players in the past. It’s not the first time he’s gone through the process so he knows how to place guys. So I’m playing positions two-through-four, he’ll find a good fit for me. I’m always talking to my family, as well. So those are the main people I’ve been leaning on.
PI: Without further adieu — where will you be attending college?
BK: I will be attending the University of Colorado.
BK: Yessir, I’m going to Boulder, Colorado. I like being a Buff [laughs]. From a Sunrise Christian Buff to a Colorado Buff [laughs].
PI: What was Coach Boyle’s reaction when you told him the news?
BK: He was really excited. They had been recruiting me for a while, even before I committed to Maryland they were recruiting me. I feel like it’s a great fit. I loved the team when I was there, the coaching staff was great, they have unreal facilities, the strength coach is really good, too — and he had great energy. I saw a lot of great things in the program and the PAC-12 is a great league for me to play in when it comes to college. I’m really excited.
PI: Did you get to know any current or former Colorado players throughout the process?
BK: I was on a visit last week, so I kinda saw the whole team. Some of the seniors were leaving, but I was talking to KJ [Simpson], Julian [Hammond III], Q [Quincy Allen], there were a lot of players. Jabari Walker was there too, but he’s going back and forth preparing for the NBA draft. I was talking a little with Evan Battey, he’s a senior who’s going pro. I was enjoying my time on the visit, they were talking about the program and why they liked it, stuff like that. It was a good time. I felt like everybody on the team had great chemistry so I’m excited.
PI: What is Colorado getting in Bobi Klintman?
BK: I would say they’re getting a versatile player who can play multiple positions. I would say I have a high upside. I’m a good shooter, good playmaker, the coach thinks I’m an elite passer, I think I have a pretty high IQ, and just a good teammate. That’s what they’re getting in me.
PI: What are your goals for next season?
BK: My goals for next season are of course I want to win everything. I want to get to March Madness and I want to win the PAC-12 tournament. Then personally I want to develop. If I can, I’m trying to get to the next level, that’s what I’m working towards so I’m just trying to get better every day. Those are the goals.
PI: What was Colorado’s most consistent message to you throughout the recruiting process?
BK: I was their number-one recruit and if Jabari is leaving it will create a big gap and I see potential for me to come in and play early, which I feel is really important. I just liked the coaches, they showed they believed in me so that’s what I was big on.
PI: What are you hoping to work on between now and getting to campus?
BK: I’ve gained a lot of weight, I’m 225 pounds right now and when I came to America I was 194. So just to get a little bit leaner without losing or gaining weight, just to get stronger. Keep working on my defense so I can guard multiple positions. I know a lot of NBA teams are looking for people that can guard multiple positions at my position. Work on the shot, my handles, passing, everything. All of the small stuff.
PI: Lastly, do you have any message for the Buffalo fans who are thrilled about your commitment?
BK: Man, I'm just excited to see everybody when I’m on campus. I can’t wait to play in front of the fans and just get to know everybody.