Andrew Michael Bogut is a professional basketball player from Australia who plays as a center. Bogut’s parents were Croatian immigrants who moved to Australia, the country where he began playing basketball. Bogut began playing for the Victoria Junior State representative team but at the age of 15, was dropped. He took it up as a challenge and moved with single-minded focus to become better.
Bogut went to the Australian Institute of Sport and in his final year there, averaged 29 points with 14.5 rebounds. He led Australia to the 2003 FIBA Junior World Championships and was also named as the MVP for the tournament. In a bid to pursue his professional basketball career in the United States, Bogut came to the University of Utah where he played for the Utes, their basketball team.
At 12.5 points per game and 9.9 rebounds per game, he was easily named Freshman of the Year in the Mountain West Conference. In the summer of 2004, Bogut was called back to Australia to be a part of the national team at the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics. Bogut showed up and showed up big – averaging 14.8 points per game with 1.2 blocks and 8.8 rebounds per game.
Bogut had a good first year in college but it was nothing extraordinary, not receiving a single All-American mention anywhere. In his sophomore year, things changed. Bogut averaged 20.4 points, 12.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game with 1.8 blocks as well. Bogut was the clear winner of the Oscar Robertson trophy, the Wooden Award and the Naismith Award and was unanimously picked to the Associated Press All-American first team. Bogut was the first non-American to win any of those awards and would later achieve another first.
Bogut decided to forego his remaining two years of college and made himself eligible for the 2005 NBA Draft. He was picked at 1st overall, by the Milwaukee Bucks, making him the first Australian to be the first draft pick in the NBA.
He didn’t disappoint on court either. Bogut averaged 9.4 points per game with 7.0 rebounds making it to the 2005-06 All-Rookie first team and to third place in the Rookie of the Year standings.
His second season in the NBA saw an injury layoff after Bogut sprained his left foot for the final 15 games of the season. He had averaged 12.3 ppg by then with 8.8 rebounds, improving his standings ever more.
In 2007-08, Bogut went a step further, averaging 14.3 points per game with 9.8 rebounds per game. He also had 1.7 blocks and 0.8 steals per 34.9 minutes per game. Bogut started 78 games that season, his highest ever. He did have a low moment when he made an obscene gesture towards the Raptors’ fans after getting ejected for a terrible foul against the Toronto Raptors.