In recent weeks I had the pleasure of interviewing former Notre Dame standout forward Bonzie Colson. I reached out to him on Instagram and he was interested right from the start to let me interview him. Him and I talked for about half an hour and it was a good time on both ends. During the interview we talked about his early childhood to coaches along the way, and his achievements throughout the course of his career.
The life of Bonzie Colson
Bonzie was born in Washington D.C. but grew up locally in New Bedford Massachusetts. Colson attended St Andrew’s Prep School in Rhode Island before selecting Notre Dame as his top choice to continue his basketball career. Colson went undrafted in the 2018 NBA draft before signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Bonzie also spent time with the Milwaukee Bucks. After Colson’s adventure in the NBA he started a new journey, playing overseas in the Turkish basketball league. Currently he is back home In Massachusetts as a free agent.
Early Childhood Interest
While interviewing Bonzie he stated from the ages of 1-2 years old that he always had a ball in his hand, falling in love with the game early on. Also being the “ball boy” for Boston College who his father, Bonzie Colson Sr., was the former basketball coach. In my brief time speaking with Colson he made it very clear that his father was his biggest influence teaching him everything he knows, being the reason he gained an abundance of love for the sport. Also he talked about former Boston College stars Jared Dudley, Reggie Jackson, and former NBA legends Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal who played a huge part towards his success. In his high school Bonzie had the pleasure of meeting Shaq. In the eyes of Colson Shaq was the player who emitted the most passion and dominated the court during his NBA career.
Although Colson grew up a Boston Celtics fan he made it clear that he was more of a “players guy”. Alongside idolizing his father, Bonzie admired the Philadelphia 76ers great Allen Iverson.
Decisions, Accomplishments, University Offers and Decisions
Bonzie mentioned he scouted other universities before making his final decision to attend Notre Dame. Colleges such as Pittsburgh University, the University of Connecticut, Miami University of Florida, Florida University, and his top choice Notre Dame was the offers he received in high school. Colson’s career accolades includes, in his opinion, being apart of of the best team Notre Dame ever had, Atlantic Coast Conference Champion, and also being Rhode Island Gatorade Player of the year. He mentioned it was a blessing after college with the opportunities that came his way. Bonzie added,”what you do as a team helps explore what you can do at the next level” referring to the NBA.
Coaches that helped him along the way to his dream
Colson told me that Tony from the Boys Club was one of his favorite coaches growing up, and influenced about the game that he now loves. Bonzie said that’s where it all started. Coach Tony had belief that Bonzie would make it pro one day at from a very young age. Vinny Godwin is another coach of Bonzie’s dating back to his days in middle school. He referred to him “like an uncle to me”. Coach Mike Brey from Notre Dame also had a good influence on Bonzie throughout his time at the University.
Transitioning from the NBA to Overseas
Bonzie was telling me about the transition from the NBA to overseas. He said “everyone is trying to get in the NBA” from the overseas league. There are different rules from one league to the other. The play is different, game is much slower, no music, schedules, playbook. Colson continues everyday to stay in shape, work out, and will be ready to go if he gets a phone call from an organization that could use his skills to produce on the court.
Influential words to the young generation
I asked him if he had any words of wisdom for the younger generation that is growing up to follow in his footsteps. “Enjoy the process everyone’s been through the up’s and downs”.”Keep a circle of people you trust”. “Understand your dreams and work hard”.” Be different, be unique, continue to grind but academics first”. Those are some assuring quotes from a humble young man that got to where he is because of hard work and great effort.