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Feb 15

Acorn Article at Drew University – Sports Talk With Anthony Bonelli

Anthony Bonelli Basketball Feature

Writer: Taryn Murphy

This season, the Drew men’s basketball team has welcomed an extraordinary new member to their coaching staff. Anthony Bonelli, a Rutgers graduate with a degree in journalism and media studies, enters his first year with the Rangers as an assistant coach. Prior to accepting the position at Drew, Bonelli worked as a scout for the Rutgers men’s basketball team.

Bonelli’s passion to pursue a career in journalism and sports broadcasting has flourished ever since he was a young boy. By the age of four, he had fallen in love with sports, even though he would never be able to kick a ball.

When Bonelli was ten days old, he suffered from a brain hemorrhage, which eventually caused cerebral palsy. This meant his mobility and speech would be severely affected. Today, he depends on a motorized wheelchair and various technologies to help him with communication skills and learning each day.

Regardless of his physical limitations, Bonelli is optimistic and relentless in his pursuit of making a contribution to the Drew community. Upon interviewing for the assistant coaching position, Bonelli was asked to evaluate game films from the previous basketball season. “His evaluations were thorough and well written. The decision was very easy at that point. I thought, it would only be good to have my guys be able to see him everyday” said head men’s basketball coach Darryl Keckler.

Bonelli’s knowledge of the game is evident through his weekly video analysis and scouting reports of the team. He comes to practice each day with an enthusiastic attitude and a distinct interest in each individual player, both on and off the court. “He’s a calming and positive presence at practice. He tells us mainly things we’re doing right, but he also offers constructive critiques on our technique or form” said senior captain John Ford (’14). Bonelli has been a motivating factor for the team in both practices and games. Although he is a first year assistant coach, Bonelli is not afraid to reach out and communicate to both the players and the coaches.

On top of his coaching position at Drew, Bonelli writes for and manages his own personal blog. His passion for writing, coaching, and talking about sports, can be expressed through this social platform for all to read. In a recent blog post, Bonelli writes, “As I have written before there have been certain instances which have made me feel like not only a part of the basketball staff, but a part of the Ranger family. The one moment I will always remember is after the game I went down to the locker room, and as I was going in someone who I don’t know stopped me and said great win coach, that was when I realized I was a part of the Ranger family.” There are many similar posts on his blog that explain his passion and excitement for the Drew men’s basketball team and his role in their success.

Throughout his blog posts, Bonelli has explained that his role at Drew is more than just coaching basketball; it is also having the opportunity to feel like you are part of something special. Coach Keckler explained, “Anthony is a caring guy. He took the time to get to know every single member of the team personally. He cares about our guys not only as players but as young men.” Anthony Bonelli is a shining example of determination, commitment, loyalty, and empathy for the Drew athletes and community at large. What more could anyone ask from a coach or for that matter, any member of the Drew family.

If you want to read more, be sure to check out his blog at http://www.abonelli.com.