SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga guard Rasir Bolton announced on Tuesday that he will return to Gonzaga for his final year of collegiate eligibility. Bolton was deciding between going pro and returning to GU. He was not on any NBA Draft boards.
Bolton kept his statement simple on social media as he said, "Run it back one more time!" and kept it at that.
"At the end of the day, I felt like this was the best move for me and my career," Bolton told KREM in an interview. "It really wasn't that tough. It's not hard to go back to Spokane and Gonzaga and do it one more year."
Gonzaga is Bolton’s third college and this past season was easily the best of his career. He was named a WCC Honorable Mention player and averaged 11.2 points per game. He also led the team in threes with 64, shooting a phenomenal 46% from beyond the arc. Bolton started his career at Penn State before transferring to Iowa State. This year was his first playing in the NCAA Tournament.
"Once I thought about it, it definitely came in a little bit," said of wanting to go farther in the tournament and how that factored into his decision. "I’ve been working out since the buzzer ended. Just ready to get back and play again."
Bolton is also deeply involved in Gonzaga's community, as he volunteered with Rick Clark's Giving Backpacks non-profit this past year.
"I mean, it definitely played a role," said Bolton of his connection with Spokane, that he terms as special compared to other places. "It was definitely a big factor for sure. Just thinking about Rick and talking to him, and what we could do when I come back and getting that process rolling alongside with basketball."
Bolton's return also means that Gonzaga will not lose all five starters heading into next year, which was a possibility for the team as all five had declared for the NBA Draft.
Although the makeup of next year's team isn't totally solidified, there is a strong core already committed to returning.
"I would say just getting back together," said Bolton of what he's most excited about in terms of next year's roster. "Last year was a lot of guys first time playing with each other and meeting each other for the first time. Coming back this year, already having a year under our belt, knowing each other having that experience and seeing what it takes and just taking those learning experiences and building on them. Hopefully this next year, make another run at it."
Players with additional eligibility have until June 1 at 8:59 PM PT to withdraw their names from the draft and return to school if they so choose. Gonzaga is currently waiting on announcements from Drew Timme and Julian Strawther.
As for Bolton's message for Gonzaga fans after this announcement?
"Let's have some fun. That's all I can say. Just let's have some fun."