For the last eight years, San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner has used basketball as a tool to guide the kids of the future in both sport and in life, through his basketball camp. Bonner just recently completed his eighth year of the Matt Bonner Camp held by Bonner and his family in his home-state of New Hampshire according to Ananth Pandian of Dime Magazine.
One thing Pandian points out about Bonner is that he takes pride in his camp and is there cooperating in all levels of it.
This is all natural for Bonner: “My name is on it and I take pride in that. I take pride that it’s in New Hampshire. If it is my camp, I want to be hands on and really give it my all. Like I do with anything. If you are going to do something, do the best you can.”
Bonner also told Pandian about why he uses basketball as a tool for teaching about the game and life.
“We teach things that make them successful not only on the court but in life,” he says. “You can’t just be good at basketball; you have to be a good person too. Making positive life choices to become a good student and citizen is very important.”
According to a counselor in New Hampshire, Bonner is a home-state leader and a lot of the kids from there stay up to watch the “Red Rocket” when the Spurs are playing during the season.
“The kids here at this camp, in Concord, in basically all of New Hampshire stay up late to watch TNT games when the Spurs are on because of Matt,” says counselor Jared Stillman.
Pandian closes the column with a great ending, describing why Bonner is so important to the community of New Hampshire even if he’s just a role player on the Spurs.
For the Spurs, Bonner is a reliable long distance shooter and solid reserve player but for his campers he is so much more. He is a reflection of them and of their highest aspirations, having lived where they live, walked the streets they walked, ate at the same places they eat, gone to the same school that they are or will go to.