Basketball is a sport that is like many others, but one unique aspect is that managers are sometimes asked to practice when there are a lack of healthy bodies. This gives managers a chance to make the team as walk-ons. This is exactly Jerimiah Bonsu's story.
Today, I interviewed Dayton junior walk-on Jeremiah Bonsu. Jeremiah became a walk-on last February for Archie Miller’s Dayton Flyers after being promoted from team manager. Bonsu graduated from my alma mater Pickerington High School North and he is a class act who worked hard to make this Flyer’s ball club. The Flyers are coming off an NCAA round of 32 appearance. Jeremiah and the Flyers look to build on last year’s success and make a deep run into the tournament.
The interview as been included below with MMM meaning Mid Major Madness and JB for Jeremiah Bonsu.
Interview with Dayton Walk-On Jeremiah Bonsu
MMM: What is your favorite part of being part of the Dayton Flyers Program?
JB: The camaraderie that we have as a program. Everyone gets along and we treat each other like family. That helps us on the court because we all understand our roles, yet we all also work hard to expand our individual roles.
MMM: What is your specific role and in what ways do you think you add to the program as a whole, and how do you think it has helped you grow as an individual?
JB: My specific role is to bring energy in practice, help on scout defense, and be ready if my number is called. In terms of what I add, I think I add energy. I’m happy to be here every day. Being on this team has made me more responsible. Balancing school and basketball is not an easy task.
MMM: You got to become a walk on last year correct? Describe how that was?
JB: Yeah, last February, I was lucky enough to become a walk on for our team. It was a dream come true. A lot of people don’t know that I originally wanted to be a walk on at the beginning of the year, but I didn’t make the team. That was one of the greatest things to happen to me. When I became a manager I worked hard so to be noticed and that work ethic went into everything I do now.
MMM: Do you think as a walk on do you feel that you are compelled to work harder do to the competitiveness of the position?
JB: With our team everyone works hard. The coaches expect every player; walk on or scholarship guy to work their hardest.
MMM: You guys made the tournament last year correct? How was that experience?
JB: Yeah we got to the round of 32. It was a fun experience. I had chills before playing Boise St. which happened to be in UD Arena. That was the greatest atmosphere I’ve ever been a part of for a sporting event.
MMM: Lastly, What are your plans after you graduate? Do you think basketball will always be a part of your life?
JB: After I graduate I want to go to graduate school and hopefully become a graduate assistant. I’m interested in a lot of things so I would be lying to you if I told you I knew what I wanted to do long term. One thing I know for sure, I’ll always be a huge basketball fan.
Jerimiah gave me some very good insight on an improvement program and a current mid major power. Jerimiah has helped Dayton as a program by working hard in practice to help bring energy to the team. Jerimiah has also learned a lot of what goes on to what the other students have to go through. This interview has brought to light all the hard work that goes into being a walk-on.