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franklin county times

Will Bonner: Class 1A Basketball Player of Year

Belgreen’s Will Bonner added a major award to his already full trophy case when he was recently named the Class 1A Player of the Year in boys basketball.

The senior point guard led Belgreen to a three-year combined record of 79-14 and Class 1A state finals during his junior year. Bonner averaged over 20 points per game through his career with the Bulldogs. He is also a two-time all Class 1A all-state player.

“It is an honor to receive this award,” said Bonner. “It could have easily been given to someone else just as deserving, but it means the world to me. I give all the glory to God for giving me the opportunity to play the game I love.

“I’ve worked my whole life to be where I am at this point and couldn’t be more blessed.”

The first thing that pops into Belgreen Coach Marty Cooper’s mind when he thinks of Will Bonner is a quote from legendary UCLA coach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success.

“Give of your best when your best is needed,” said Cooper. “That is what I think about when people ask me about Will. In our three years together, he has always showed up with his best effort against top competition.

“Will has no fear, and he loves to compete against the best teams and best players,” Cooper added. “Will is also humble for a high school kid that has had a lot of success.”

Bonner and Cooper both acknowledge the team success that has contributed to this honor.

“I think our team’s success has been a big part of me getting this award,” said Bonner. “I’ve gotten to play with some great players like Isac Willingham, Scout Bragwell, Bryant Hubbard and my brother Collin.

“Collin and I have been playing basketball together our whole lives,” he added. “We gel together, and we just know what each other is going to do.

“Every single person I’ve played with has impacted me in some way to achieve this award.”

Cooper said Bonner was the spark plug that made Belgreen go.

“We have had great team chemistry the past three years and some really good players, but Will is the guy that made us go,” Cooper said. “He is very deserving of the 1A Player of the Year.”

Bonner said he has been blessed to have Cooper as his coach.

“Coach Cooper did a great job with us,” said Bonner. “He is not your average basketball coach. He’s going to get on your butt on the court and off the court. He teaches us about life, not just basketball. I am thankful to have him in my life.”

Bonner said he is still undecided about where he will go to college and continue his basketball career. He wants to major in biology or physical therapy.

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