Christopher Wesson Bosh (born March 24, 1984) is an American professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association who plays for the Toronto Raptors. Garnering an array of basketball accolades since his high school days, Bosh left college at Georgia Tech after one season to enter the 2003 NBA Draft. He was selected fourth overall in what proved to be a very competitive draft class. Since his NBA career began, Bosh, who plays the forward position, has emerged as one of the most established young stars in the NBA. In the process, he has become a two-time NBA All-Star, been named to the All-NBA team, appeared for the USA National Team, and taken over former fan-favorite Vince Carter as the current face and leader of the Raptors franchise. In the 2006-07 NBA season, Bosh led the Raptors to their first NBA Playoffs berth in five years, and their first ever division title.
Owing to his initials and jersey number, Bosh is nicknamed CB4, a name first coined by the Toronto Raptors' play-by-play commentator, Chuck Swirsky. The nickname also alludes to a cult movie of the same name. Off the court, Bosh is noted for his philanthropy and active community service. In recognition of his own childhood experience, Bosh set up the Chris Bosh Foundation to help promote sports and education amongst youths in Dallas and Toronto, and regularly speaks to youths about the benefits of reading.
Born in Dallas, Texas, to Noel and Freida Bosh, Chris Bosh grew up in Hutchins, Texas. A family-oriented person, Bosh would often play basketball in the house with his younger brother. By four years of age, Bosh began learning how to dribble a basketball in the gym where his dad played pick-up games. Although Bosh was always tall since youth and this allowed him to out-rebound others in basketball games, Bosh only started learning basketball around fourth grade at a playground near his grandmother's house. Apart from basketball, Bosh also played baseball up till high school, preferring to play as first baseman. Growing up, Bosh names his parents as the biggest influences on his personality and considered NBA superstar Kevin Garnett as his favorite athlete, modeling his play after him. Academically, Bosh always did well in school but he began to garner significant attention from college recruiters when he led Lincoln High School in Dallas to the number one ranking in the country and the USA Today National Championship with a perfect 40-0 season.
Bosh went on to lead Lincoln High to win the Class 4A state title before 16,990 fans as he racked up 23 points, 17 rebounds and nine blocks. Bosh was subsequently named High School Player of the Year by Basketball America, Powerade Player of the Year in Texas, a First-team all-American by Parade, McDonald's and EA Sports, a Second-team all-American by USA Today and SLAM Magazine, a First-team all-state player, and "Mr. Basketball" in Texas by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches. Bosh then chose to follow the footsteps of his cousin and aunt and attended the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) to study graphic design and computer imaging, and subsequently, management. There, he led the Yellow Jackets in averaging 15.6 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 31 games, and led the Atlantic Coast Conference in field goal percentage (.560), joining Antawn Jamison as the only freshman ever to do so. He left Georgia Tech after his freshman season and entered the 2003 NBA Draft. Although Bosh said in future interviews that he misses his college days, he believes he made the right decision to pursue a pro career. He also intends to obtain his college degree one day, to fulfill a promise made to his mother.
In a strong draft class comprising future All-Stars LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane Wade, Bosh was selected fourth overall by the Toronto Raptors in the 2003 NBA Draft and was signed by the Raptors on 8 July 2003. In his rookie season Bosh was forced to play out of position as the Raptors' starting center after Antonio Davis was traded to the Chicago Bulls. Night in and night out the wiry teenager battled against opponents who had a significant size and strength advantage over him. Bosh — who cited teammate Michael Curry as his mentor — was often praised by his coaches for his heart, and willingness to play through pain and injuries resulting from his lack of body strength compared to some of the league's strong forwards and centers. Bosh's contributions were not unnoticed by teammates either, as he averaged 11.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.41 blocks, and 33.5 minutes in 75 games, leading all rookies in rebounding and blocks, and setting a franchise record for most rebounds in a rookie season. Bosh was rewarded by being selected to the All-Rookie First Team for the 2003-04 NBA season.
Heralded as the New Hope
With the departure of the former disenchanted and often criticized franchise face Vince Carter on 17 December 2004, Bosh was simultaneously anointed as the new leader around whom Toronto would build. In the remaining games following Carter's departure, Bosh averaged 18.4 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, and 38.1 minutes per game, improving in every major statistical category. In recognition of his efforts, he was awarded his first ever NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played between 3 and 9 January 2005. As the season drew to a close, analysts predicted that Bosh would become an All-Star one day. Bosh ended the 2004-05 season as the leading scorer and leading rebounder for the team on 21 and 46 occasions respectively.
Prior to the 2005-06 NBA season, Bosh was named as one of Toronto's team captains. Bosh continued to work on his game as he consistently chalked up double doubles, leading the team in scoring, rebounding, and field goal percentage for the first half of the season. On February 9, 2006, for the first time in his career, Bosh was selected to play in the 2006 NBA All-Star Game in Houston, Texas as a reserve forward for the Eastern Conference He was only the third Raptor to make an All-Star game, after Vince Carter and Antonio Davis. Bosh's selection was just three days after he was named NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the second time in his career. In March 2006, Bosh was accidentally kicked in the thumb by teammate Pape Sow and missed the rest of the season. After his injury, the Raptors went 1-10, highlighting Bosh's importance as the centerpiece of the offense, as well as the leader of the team. The Raptors finished the season 27-55 and Bosh averaged 22.5 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game.
Despite a major off-season revamp of the Raptors' roster — including the departure of good friends Mike James and Charlie Villanueva — Bosh officially signed a three-year contract extension with a player option for a fourth year on 14 July 2006. The deal was worth US$65 million over four years. Upon signing the contract, Bosh said "I think the future is very positive for the franchise…change was needed... we have a lot of guys who just want to win and are willing to work hard." During the same press conference, Bosh also announced a donation of $1,000,000 to a Toronto charity, known as Community Legacy Programs.
Leader of the Division Champions
After a shaky start to the Raptors' 2006-07 campaign, the Raptors managed to surpass the 0.500 mark as the All-Star break approached. Bosh's play and leadership were pivotal to this run and as an increasing recognition of his abilities, on 25 January 2007, he was named an All-Star starter for the East in the 2007 NBA All-Star Game. Bosh received the second highest number of votes among all Eastern Conference forwards. This was his first All-Star start and second overall All-Star appearance, having averaged over 22 points and 11 rebounds in the first half of the season. On January 31, 2007, in a game against the Washington Wizards, Bosh scored a 65-foot buzzer-beating shot to end the third quarter of the game. He shot 15-of-15 after missing his first four shots. Bosh's in-form streak enabled him to be selected Eastern Conference Player of the Month for January 2007. He had averaged 25.4 points and 9.1 rebounds while leading the Raptors to a 10-5 record in that month. On 7 February 2007, Bosh's career-high 41 points prompted the home fans to chant "MVP" — an unprecedented event in the Air Canada Centre. Two days later, Bosh collected 29 points and 11 rebounds against the Los Angeles Lakers, shooting 10-of-10 in the second half.
Bosh improved his numbers in major statistical categories in the 2006-07 NBA season and had to lead a vastly different team from the 2005-06 roster. Bosh improved his numbers in major statistical categories in the 2006-07 NBA season and had to lead a vastly different team from the 2005-06 roster.
On March 28, 2007, Bosh became the new franchise record holder for double doubles in a home win against the Miami Heat. He was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the third time in his career shortly after, having led Toronto to clinch their first NBA Playoffs berth in five years. Toronto went on to win its first ever division title, and concluded the regular season with a 47-35 record, including a 30-11 home record, both franchise records. Bosh averaged 22.6 ppg and 10.7 rpg for the regular season, both career-highs, and posted 17.5 ppg and 9.0 rpg for the 2007 NBA Playoffs. He was named to the second All-NBA team at the end of the 2006-07 campaign.
Bosh, listed at 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) and 230 pounds (104 kg), possesses excellent speed, athleticism, and ball handling for a player of his size. He is particularly noted for his ability to drive to the basket and finish strong or get to the free throw line, but he is also known for his well-developed jump shot. As the centerpiece of the Raptors' offence, when Bosh is double teamed, he is noted to unselfishly pass the ball to team mates who are in better shooting positions. Bosh improved his shooting range when he worked on his three point shooting during the summer of 2006 and showed improvement in the 2006-07 season. On 8 November 2006, against the Philadelphia 76ers, he hit a game winning three point shot with 6.1 seconds left. It was reminiscent of the shot that marked his "arrival" to the NBA in his first season, when he hit a game-tying three pointer against Houston to send the game to overtime. In the 2006-07 season, Bosh shot .343 from the three point arc.
In terms of leadership, Bosh has always led by example. As the leader of the Raptors, he is not noted for being vocal on the court, preferring to maintain his quiet and humble demeanor but expecting his team mates to match his work ethic. Bosh is also known to deliver stern rebukes to team mates who make bad calls on the court. Comparisons have been made between Bosh and [[Kevin Garnett]] due to their similar style of play and physique.
Bosh's international career began in 2002 when he was selected as a member of the 2002 USA Basketball Junior World Championship Qualifying Team that finished with a 4-1 record and the bronze medal.
After his NBA career began, Bosh was named on March 5, 2006, to the 2006-2008 United States men's national basketball team program, and helped lead the team to a 5–0 record during its pre-World Championship tour. On August 17, 2006, Bosh was named as a member of the 2006 USA World Championship Team. Together with fellow 2003 draftees Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Kirk Hinrich, this team competed in the 2006 FIBA World Championship. The team won the bronze medal, defeating former 2004 Olympic champion Argentina. Bosh was ranked sixth in field goal percentage.
Besides his on-the-court exploits, Bosh was a National Honor Society member and graduated with honors from Lincoln. He is also a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and the Dallas Association of Minority Engineers.
In the field of philanthropy, given that he was only a few years removed from a childhood not without its financial challenges, Bosh established the Chris Bosh Foundation in 2004. The Foundation's website describes the Foundation as "a non-profit organization promoting social enrichment, education and physical fitness among youth. The Foundation assists youth in reaching the educational and athletic goals they set through mentoring and setting examples in the community." The Foundation, with programs in Toronto and Dallas, has worked closely with organizations such as the Toronto Special Olympics to raise important funding for community projects. Bosh's mother, Freida, is the CEO of the Foundation. As an avid reader of books, Bosh also regularly speaks to groups of Toronto children about the benefits of reading, and has received the NBA Community Assist Award for his active contributions for the Raptors community development program in Toronto during the course of the NBA campaign.
Awards and Accomplishments
- Third-youngest player in NBA history to record 1,000 career rebounds.
- Fourth-youngest player in NBA history to record 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game.