Eagles Athletics

Eagles Spotlight: John Bonney '20, boys basketball

Senior John Bonney '20 is a leader on our Eagles basketball team.
John Bonney ‘20, a senior boarding student from Brooklyn, NY, is a leader both on and off the court for the Rabun Gap Eagles. 

Originally from Ghana, Africa, John has been a student at Rabun Gap for three years. He’s played basketball since he was in second grade and is a point guard for the Eagles. A well-rounded athlete, John has also played football and ran track for the Eagles. 

This season, John has been an integral part of the Eagles’ senior leadership.

"John possesses the qualities that every team wants and needs in a leader,” said Head Basketball Coach Roger Cox. “His personality compels players and coaches to respect him on and off the court. His energy in practices, in the locker room, and on the court is a primary reason why this year's team has been able to play so hard and have several big wins, including a 90-69 win at home against Christ School (first home win ever vs. Christ School and second overall), and 85-69 home win against Asheville Christian, and a 75-71 win at Ravenscroft (first ever win vs Ravenscroft)."

In addition to playing basketball, John is very involved across campus. He sings in the choir, serves as a prefect, and is a member of the Business Club, Global Awareness Panel, and the Wellness Initiative.

What is the best part about playing for the Eagles basketball team? 
The best part about playing for the Eagles basketball team is its similarity to playing at the next level. There will always be a diverse team with players from around the world. The competition is really competitive. We usually have 3-6 hour road trip games. There are overnight trips. There are times when there are four games in a five-day span. We develop deep relationships with coaches, athletic trainers, and players that we will always remember for life. I was not exposed to this in NYC.

What has been the most exciting game so far for you? 
Sophomore Year: My first varsity basketball game against Mount Pisgah.
Junior Year: Beating Wesleyan in the first round of state playoffs.
Senior Year: Home game against Baylor School.

What is the hardest part of being a student-athlete? How has the environment and people here at Rabun Gap helped you? 
The hardest part about being a student-athlete is maintaining a healthy balance. It was challenging to be a prefect, participating in groups and meetings, the college process, having tons of homework, leading the basketball team, and still finding time for myself. It requires time-management, planning ahead, and being poised. The environment and people here helped me by being very supportive. I always take advantage of meeting with Ms. Green for my mental being.

What is the culture on the basketball team like? What makes playing at Rabun Gap special to you?
We learn new things every day because we all come from different backgrounds. Everyone feels like family whether they are on the stands or on the team. I  always look forward to any home games for basketball, football, and track.

What is your favorite thing about your coaches? 
All my coaches actually care for their players and will go out of their way to develop them. Coach Livsey was the only coach to coach me in all three sports. He pushed me to my limits in every sport. He witnessed my highs and lows. I developed a great relationship with him and I was able to talk to him about anything. Coach Bryson was another coach who coached me in Football and Track. Even though I didn’t maintain being a football player, he challenged me to get out of my comfort zone and chase for greatness in anything you desire. My head coach, Coach Cox, was the coach who welcomed me into another chapter of my life. 

What do you like to do in your free time? 
Besides training, I like to listen to music and watch movies. In NYC, I like to go out and see new attractions or exhibits. I try to be very productive.

What classes do you love here and why? 
I love Algebra For Finance, American Government, Psychology and Intro to data science. 
I love these classes because it teaches me about the real-world and the skills I develop from these classes will help me in my desired field. French is always an interesting class.

What are your plans for after high school? 
My plans after high school are to go to college and study business. I want to be an NBA/professional agent and work in the basketball field. I’m also interested in the insurance industry.
Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School is a private, coeducational day and boarding school for grades Pre-K through 12. Centrally located between Atlanta, GA, Greenville, SC, and Asheville, NC, we prepare young people for college, career, and a lifetime of leadership and service.