Born: June 8, 1968, St. Louis, MO
Position: Small Forward
Played For: Sacramento Kings (1990-93), New York Knicks (1993-95), Orlando Magic (1996)
Anthony Bonner’s successful professional basketball career was molded right here in St. Louis. A St. Louis native, Bonner prepped at Vashon High School. The USA Today All-America honoree helped the Wolverines to a pair of Missouri Class 4A state championships. He averaged 14.6 points per game and a remarkable 16.8 rebounds per game as a senior, and for his efforts was tabbed the 1986 Mr. Show-Me Basketball.
Bonner carried that success to Saint Louis University, where he starred on Rich Grawer’s teams from 1986-90. A forward, Bonner re-wrote the Billiken record book and remains at the top of several categories to this day. He is the all-time leading scorer (1,972 points) and rebounder (1,424 rebounds) in Saint Louis University men’s basketball history. Bonner also is SLU’s all-time leader in steals (192), minutes played (4,536) and games started (130).
During Bonner’s time at SLU, the Billikens posted an 87-46 record and advanced to the NIT final in 1989 and 1990. He helped Saint Louis to a then school-record 27 wins during the 1988-89 campaign.
Bonner still holds the Billikens’ single-game scoring mark of 45 points against Loyola Chicago in 1990. Bonner earned a communication degree from the
University in 1990.
As a freshman in 1986-87, Bonner averaged 10.3 points per game and 9.6 rebounds per game while starting 34 contests. He was named a freshman All-American by Basketball Weekly. Bonner scored 13.8 points per game and pulled down 8.8 rebounds per game as a sophomore and improved those numbers to 15.5 points per game and 10.4 points per game his junior year. He had a breakout year as a senior, leading the nation in rebounding average (13.8 rebounds per game) while scoring 19.8 ppg. Throughout his career, Bonner was twice named first-team All-MCC. In four years, he played in 133 games, averaged 14.8 points per game and hauled in 10.7 rebounds per game.
Following his successful collegiate career, Bonner was a first-round pick by the Sacramento Kings in the 1990 NBA Draft. He played six seasons in the NBA, serving stints with the Kings (1990-93), New York Knicks (1993-95) and Orlando Magic (1996). In all, Bonner appeared in more than 300 games, scored more than 2,000 points and collected more than 1,700 rebounds.
Bonner’s game also took him around the world, as he played professionally in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Puerto Rico, Spain, Russia and Argentina.
Bonner was inducted into the Billiken Hall of Fame in 1996. He was the Billikens’ inaugural representative in the Atlantic 10 Conference Legends program, which honors former players or coaches who have made a lasting impact on their institutions.
Last season, as part of Saint Louis University men’s basketball’s 100th-anniversary celebration, Bonner was voted by fans as one of 16 members on SLU’s All-Century men’s basketball team.
By Brian Kunderman