Thursday, September 3, 2015

Bonner Returns Home to Hoop it Up

Matt Bonner is an 11 year NBA veteran, winning two championships with the San Antonio Spurs. He has hit 782 career 3-pointers, with a blistering rate of shooting 41.4% from beyond the arc. He's the only NH product to ever play in the NBA. It's nice to see that even with all that Bonner has accomplished, he still comes back to his home state to give back.

Bonner was in the house at Manchester Central High School for the Sam Carey Classic a couple weeks ago, helping out to raise money for the 'Rock On Foundation' which was founded by himself and his brother Luke Bonner. Both of the Bonner brothers were spreading positive vibes at the event, and their foundation is working on renovating the Beech Street basketball court in Manchester.

The day before the Sam Carey Classic, Matt Bonner was in the gym at the Holderness School in Plymouth, NH hooping it up with some younger players from NH.

"We got a workout in with Matt Bonner" said Zach Stevens, former Trinity High star who now enters his senior season for the Plymouth State men's basketball team. "It was something I'll remember for the rest of my life. Matt Bonner's knowledge of the game is off the charts. He's very humble, too."

In addition to Stevens, others who were on hand for the workout and pick up games at Holderness with Bonner were Carson Desrosiers, Devin Gilligan, Tschiefu Ngalakulondi, Nathan Knight and Zak Kerr.

Desrosiers, a 6-foot-11 forward from Windham, NH just wrapped up his senior season for Big East champion Providence College. He is now getting ready to head overseas to play professionally in Finland. Gilliagan, a former standout at Souhegan High and then Kimball Union Academy, is now a key player for SNHU. Ngalakulondi and Knight are teammates with the DC Blue Devils and at Proctor Academy, both hold a handful of scholarship offers. Kerr, a versatile shooting guard, returns to Merrimack High for his senior year. Also out there playing was Holderness School head coach Tony Mure.

"Matt Bonner told us that he wasn't going to change his game playing with us in a pickup game" said Stevens. "The way he as playing out there, it was just like playing his role with the Spurs. He wasn't bringing the ball up the floor or dunking on people or anything. He was taking it seriously, gearing up for training camp in a few weeks."

Stevens is well known around NH as a gym rat and a lights out shooter. He has been hard at work in the gym, getting ready for his senior season at Plymouth State.

"Last season was frustrating, we had good talent but a lot of close losses" Stevens lamented. "But we have Chris Osgood (Nashua, NH) coming in as a freshman. With the graduation of Alex Burt, we're going to need another shooter. I hope to step up my game and fill that role. I have also been working on my defense to hopefully get more minutes. I've been working out with TJ Thompson - he's the best trainer in the state."

Between the Matt Bonner workout up at Holderness, followed by the Sam Carey Classic, it really was a great weekend for NH basketball.

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