As Sam Sees It

Word came to me recently that Phoenix Metro Basketball Magazine named former Winslow High School basketball star Isaac Bonds as the captain of its High School All 20th Century Team. Bonds is one of only seven players chosen for the prestigious squad which also includes Sean Elliot of Tucson Cholla, Mike Bibby of Phoenix Shadow Mountain, Steve Malovic of Phoenix Alhambra, Lafayette "Fats" Lever of Tucson Pueblo and Mark Alarie of Phoenix Brophy Prep.

A number of other Winslow players, male and female were named to various All Decade teams. These included Willie Powell, Claude Renfro, Elisha Johns, Keturah Mattox, Michelle Tom, Verlaine Kescoli, Anna Van, Phillip Dietz, George Hayes and coach Don Petranovich.

The selections were made by Barry Sollenberger, who is widely regarded as the best authority on high school sports in Arizona. He has published this magazine for 30 years and now also works in public relations for the Arizona Athletic Association.

Bonds still holds the record for a season's scoring average nearly forty years after his playing days ended. He is still remembered by older fans as the very best at "following his shots". Bonds would usual miss enough first shots that opponents felt they had "contained" him - until they realized that he had scored a "quiet" 35-40 points against them, many of them on second shots.

Isaac Bonds did not play in the NBA or even in college. He did play some good basketball while in the service during the Viet Nam war. Still, the lack of such later experience and success, for some, detracts from his accomplishments in high school.

Bonds has become a personal friend of mine and I would like to say that he is definitely a success in the things that really count in this life. He is a good man who cares about his family, his friends and his community.

He and his lovely wife Yvonne raised three wonderful children (Isaac, Jr., Tobias and Stephanie) who have themselves become successful in their chosen professions. They had parents who cared for them and encouraged them to succeed in every way possible.

Bonds said that he would like to give credit to coach Jim Freeman and his teammates for allowing him the freedom to display his talents to their fullest. He also said that the support he got from his mother Flora Bonds and his father the late Isaac Bonds, Sr. was a major reason for anything good he has done in life, both as a child and an adult.

This honor could not have come to a more deserving person than Isaac Bonds and it probably will not be appreciated by anyone as much either, unless it is by Yvonne and the kids.

Winslow should be proud of the Bonds family. They are the type of people who make this the good friendly community it is. We should also be proud of the other Winslow coaches and athletes who have been honored as well. In some way, it seems that we as a community also share in their recognition.


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