“When they verbal to a school, they end their recruiting with the other schools,” explained Michael Hart, head basketball coach and director of athletics at St. Andrew’s. “Then, in the second week of November, they have a signing period. It’s kind of like a rite of passage for high school basketball and high school athletes in general. It’s a big day. Their senior year will be made up of keeping their grades strong, preparing for college and helping us win a championship, hopefully.”Bonzie was considering more than 20 colleges before deciding on Notre Dame. “It’s a relief — a great feeling and it’s exciting. Now I’m just getting ready for the season,” he said.
The 6-foot-5-inch forward first started playing ball when he was 2 or 3. “My dad was a coach, so I guess I was born into basketball. I love the game,” he said.
His father, Bonzie Colson, was at the school for the announcement along with his wife Cyndi and their 9-year-old daughter Sydni.
“I was a scholarship player at URI many moons ago,” said Mr. Colson. “I just wanted to position him to be in the best possible situation with the best scholarship offer. Part of that was bringing him to a place like St. Andrew’s, where I knew he would get great academic support and an environment that would prepare him for college and prepare him for a school like Notre Dame. And coach Hart and coach (John) O’Shea have done a great job with his skill development and the school has also done a great job in terms of just preparing him to be a better person than he was when he first walked in here as a 14-year-old freshman.”
The 6-foot-1-inch Henry, who played at Portsmouth High School as a freshman and sophomore before coming to St. Andrew’s, said he was thrilled with committing to the Utah State Aggies.
“It means a lot to me. The next part of my life is starting right now,” said Henry, who’s also lived in Virginia, Tennessee and Japan as he’s moved around with his Navy mother, Zeporah Dasher, now stationed in Washington. “I started playing basketball when I was about 4 years old. Since then, I’ve moved to so many different places that I’ve acclimated so many different techniques to my game as I’ve traveled with my mom,” he said.
Both seniors are solid students and role models who “get involved in the school,” Mr. Hart said, but they have contrasting styles on the hard court.
“Bonzie tends to be more of an unconventional, old-school type player,” he said. “He does a lot of things well, but when he walks in the gym he doesn’t wow you because he’s not 6 foot 9 and 250 pounds. When people look at him, they say ‘I can’t believe he’s playing at Notre Dame.’ I can, and then once you watch him play, you see how he gets things done.
“Henry is your prototypical guard. He can play the point, he can play the two. He’s in great shape, he’s strong. (He’s a) very good shooter, very good at getting to the rim, and very good defensively. I think he fits more of the mold of the Division 1 guard.”
Mr. Hart said St. Andrew’s has been fortunate in helping to develop strong players over the years.
“We’ve been lucky here,” he said. “We’ve had that in the past, but it’s been a while since we’ve had two commit on the same day. These guys both took different paths in their recruiting. Bonzie’s recruiting started off very slowly and then picked up and got really heavy. Henry’s got heavy right away, then totally died and then got heavy again. The whole time these guys stayed patient and did their research of the different schools that were recruiting them so they’d feel really comfortable with their choices.”
For more about Henry Bolton, click here.