Guilford Trio Ready for Pro Ranks
Sanborn, Strong, Bonner Begin New Chapters
GREENSBORO, N.C. --- Former Guilford
College basketball standouts Tyler Sanborn '10, Rhett Bonner
'10 and Ben Strong '08 recently signed professional basketball
contracts. Sanborn is heading over seas to play for Grupo
Iruna Navarra out of Pamplona, Spain, in the Spanish LEB Gold
(second division). Bonner signed with the Washington
Generals, the rival of the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters, while
Strong signed with the Landstede Basketball Club (LBC), a
first-division team in the Netherlands.
Sanborn, a two-time NCAA Division III basketball All-American. signed with the Spanish LEB Gold team in July. Grupo Iruna Navarra reached the LEB Silver semifinals in 2010 and earned a promotion to the LEB Gold.
Sanborn attracted the attention of international professional clubs after competing for the Los Angeles Lakers’ summer league team. He was the NCAA Division III National Player of the Year as a senior at Guilford after compiling 30 double-doubles and averaging 19.8 points, 14.1 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 33 games. Sanborn helped Guilford to a 104-19 record, four NCAA Tournament appearances and two national semifinal berths in his four seasons.
Bonner becomes the third Guilford alumnus to sign with the Generals, following in the footsteps of former teammates Eric Belkoski '08 and current Guilford assistant basketball coach Caleb Kimbrough '08. The Generals travel the world serving as the comedic foil to the Globetrotters, who were founded in 1926 and have played over 23,000 exhibition games in 120 countries for more than 132 million fans. With this opportunity, the 6-1, 175-pound shooting guard looks to help the Generals improve upon their 6-13,653 record against the Globetrotters, having lost over 10,000 straight contests since a 100-99 victory January 5, 1971.
Bonner, a two-time Second Team All-ODAC honoree, averaged 12.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per contest in his three-year career as a Quaker. His .853 free-throw percentage ranks second in the school record books. Bonner's .402 three-point percentage stands third in school history, along with his 168 three-pointers made and 418 attempted. He finished his career ranked 25th in scoring with 1,126 points and played on three NCAA Tournament teams.
Strong, a 6-10, 220-pound center, will play with one of the top clubs in the Dutch Basketball League (DBL). Following a disappointing 2009-10 season when the team posted a 5-31 record, the addition of Strong will strengthen Landstede's frontcourt as he is two inches taller than the club's tallest forward. This opportunity follows Strong's two-year stint with the Maccabi Haifa Heat of the Israel Basketball Super League (Ligat HaAL). With the Heat, Strong averaged 8.7 minutes, 2.1 points and 2.1 rebounds over 32 games.
Strong concluded a brilliant college career with Guilford in 2008, averaging 25.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. In 2006-07, Strong was named the NCAA Division III Player of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and D3hoops.com. Guilford's second all-time leading scorer (2,241 points), he led the Quakers to a 48-10 record, the 2008 ODAC title and two NCAA playoff appearances in his final two campaigns.
This release was generated from excerpts from the Guilford College sports information department.