Lions’ Bonner headed to Colorado State
Colorado State University’s men’s basketball team picked up its second player from Lawrence High in the last five years on Wednesday.
Lawrence senior standout Anthony Bonner signed his letter of intent in the LHS cafeteria, after orally committing to the program in June.
Surrounded by his teammates, former coaches and teachers, and scores of students, Bonner had a wide smile throughout his signing ceremony as he heard others talk about him before he put pen to paper at 3:20 p.m.
“I’ve been looking forward to (signing day) for a while, ever since I started playing basketball,” said Bonner, who wore a gray flat bill CSU hat with a blue shirt and a plaid bow tie. “Probably the most exciting day of my life so far, besides the day that I committed. It’s great.”
Bonner, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard, is the second LHS basketball star to pick the Rams after Dorian Green did the same in 2009. Bonner credited the coaching staff, especially the recruiting efforts from associate head coach Leonard Perry, the school’s location and overall atmosphere for his decision to choose CSU.
“AB takes a lot of pride in being compared to Dorian,” LHS coach Mike Lewis said, as Green was in attendance. “Both being Lawrence High guys and standout high school athletes, and both being really good students. That comparison is really special.”
Bonner averaged 16.1 points per game last year, while leading the Lions by shooting 57 percent from the field and 41 percent from behind the three-point line. Bonner, who earned second-team All-Sunflower League honors last year, also averaged four rebounds, two assists and one steal each night.
“Where we’re at going into this year has a lot to do with Anthony Bonner, and his leadership,” Lewis said. “We definitely wouldn’t be here without him. His leadership trickles down into all the players.”
Several teammates stood up and spoke about their respect of Bonner. His former AAU coaches, Rick McNabb and Victor Williams, and his first-grade teacher, Amy Spurlock, also shared memories of their times with him.
“That meant the world to me just seeing that they still remember me and still care to be a part of my life,” Bonner said. “It couldn’t be possible without some of those people, and I appreciate them more than anything.”
Bonner also noted this upcoming season, for himself and the team, is dedicated to former LHS assistant coach Kermit Aldridge, who died in March after battling a rare form of cancer.
“He was a really great guy and I wish he could be here more than anything,” Bonner said. “He was just an awesome person. I know he’s looking down, though, and I hope I’m making him smile.”