It was a banner senior season for Hobart basketball forward Richie Bonney ’14 and the news just keeps getting better. Bonney has been named the winner of the 2014 Jostens Trophy, a national honor that recognizes him as the most outstanding NCAA Division III men’s basketball player in the country.
Bonney is the first Statesman to win the award and just the second to be named a finalist, joining Joe Corbett ’03, who was one of the top 10 in 2002 and 2003. In addition to winning the Jostens Trophy, Bonney was also named first team All-East by D3hoops.com today.
The Jostens Trophy was created by the Rotary Club of Salem, Va., to honor the best men’s and women’s NCAA Division III basketball players of the year, taking into account three vital parts: basketball ability, academic prowess and community service. The trophy models the Rotary International motto of “Service Above Self” by recognizing those who truly fit the ideal of the well-rounded NCAA Division III student-athlete. This year’s class marks the 17th year the award has been presented.
“Richie is one of the most outstanding young men that I have coached in my 42 years at three outstanding institutions (U.S. Naval Academy, University of Rochester, Hobart College),” Head Coach Mike Neer says. “No one has worked harder than him. Richie simply does not take a play off in games or practice.
“Yet, I believe it’s his motor of intangibles that separates him further from others and is the key to his success off the court,” Neer says. “Richie is curious and enjoys learning. He seeks out opportunities to develop new skills or to reinforce good habits that will keep him ahead. He doesn’t stand pat and chooses not to leave things to chance. He has been an excellent role model for his teammates.”
Bonney led the Statesmen and ranked second in the Liberty League in scoring average at 20.4 ppg. His 591 total points this year are fifth on Hobart’s single season list. The unanimous Liberty League Player of the Year scored a season-high 31 points at Clarkson and added 30 points in a 94-81 upset of No. 21 Scranton in the first round of the NCAA Championship.
An exceptional rebounder, Bonney corralled 318 boards (fifth on the single season list), for a league-high 11.0 rpg. Only two Statesmen have grabbed more rebounds in a season. The two-time first team All-Liberty League selection pulled down a career-high matching 19 rebounds at Hartwick.
Bonney’s scoring and rebounding prowess resulted in 21 double-doubles this season, the second most in the nation. He also ranked in the top 20 in the nation in total field goals made (2nd, 234), total rebounds (10th), rebounding average (11th), total points (12th), and offensive rebounds per game (17th, 3.93).
The Hobart career record holder for points (1,738), field goals made (680), field goal percentage (.583), and games played (114), Bonney led the Statesmen to an 87-27 record (.763) over the past four seasons, including a 22-7 mark this season. He helped Hobart win four Liberty League regular season titles and the 2013 and 2014 Liberty League Tournament Championships. Bonney and the Statesmen captured the 2011 ECAC Upstate Tournament Championship and then made three consecutive NCAA Championship appearances, advancing to the second round in 2012 and 2014.
In the classroom, Bonney is just as impressive. The philosophy and public policy studies double major is a two-time Capital One first team Academic All-American and was voted the 2013-14 Academic All-America of the Year for Division III men’s basketball. He is a three-time Liberty League All-Academic Team selection and has earned Dean’s List honors six times. Bonney is a Druid, Hobart’s senior class honor society, and was previously inducted into the Orange Key Society and the Chimera Society, Hobart’s sophomore and junior class honor societies, respectively.
In the community, Bonney has served as a pre-orientation leader for groups of incoming first-year students during each of the past two summers, volunteering at Habitat for Humanity build sites in Geneva. He has helped with team basketball clinics in a local elementary school as well as an annual on campus basketball clinic for Ontario ARC.
Bonney and the women’s Jostens Trophy winner were celebrated on Thursday, March 20 at the Salem Civic Center in conjunction with the NCAA Division III men’s basketball semifinals and championship on March 21-22.