Rudy Gobert-Bourgarel (1992- )

Rudy Gobert, August 2015
Rudy Gobert, August 2015

Rudy Gobert-Bourgarel, a professional basketball player for the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association (NBA), was the league’s first athlete to test positive for COVID-19, the Coronavirus.

Gobert who is one of a handful of international players in the NBA, began his professional basketball career with the basketball club Cholet Basket in Cholet, France. He also played for the NBA G League team based in Prescott Valley, Arizona. He was selected 27th overall by the Denver (Colorado) Nuggets in the 2013 NBA Draft but was later traded to the Utah Jazz during draft night. During his time playing in the NBA, Gobert had become an NBA All-Star, two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year (2018 and 2019), All-NBA Second Team, All-NBA third team, Three-Time NBA All-Defensive First Team, and NBA Blocks leader.

Gobert was born on June 26, 1992 to Rudy Bourgarel, an ex-French basketball international player and Corinne Gobert in Saint-Quentin, France. He first played basketball at age 11 with St Quentin Club and Saint-Quentin BB. In 2007, Gobert turned professional and by 2010 he was playing for the Cholet Basketball Club team in 2010. During the 2012-2013 season, he averaged 8.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.

Gobert entered the 2013 NBA Draft and was selected 27th overall by the Denver Nuggets but was later traded to the Utah Jazz during draft night. Gobert briefly played with the Utah Jazz in the 2013 Summer League. During the 2013-14 NBA season, Gobert played briefly with the Jazz until he was assigned to play with the NBA Development League Team Bakersfield Jam based in Prescott Valley, Arizona. He returned to play with the Jazz later during that season but was then reassigned to Bakersfield Jam team where he played only 45 out of the 82 games for the rest of the 2013-2014 season.

Gobert rejoined the Jazz permanently in 2014. During his time playing in the NBA, he led the Utah Jazz in the playoffs three time from 2016-2019. He was also a two-time Defense Player of the year (2018 and 2019), All-NBA Second Team, All-NBA Third Team (2019), three-time NBA All-Defensive First Team (2017-2019), NBA Blocks Leader (2017), and French Player of the Year (2019).

On March 11, 2020, Gobert became the first NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) just before a basketball game between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder. Following this discovery, the basketball game between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder was cancelled. Soon afterward, when Donovan Mitchell, a second Utah Jazz player tested positive for COVID-19, the NBA suspended the rest of the 2019-2020 season. Gobert, who remains on the Utah Jazz roster, is single and does not have children.