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In coach Vernon Crump's mind, it's hard for one game to measure the impact of Lorenzo Bonam.
It's the whole list of accomplishments that truly does his prep basketball career justice.
Four-year letterman. Four-year all-league player. All-state honoree as a senior. Played all five positions at various points at Robichaud High. In Crump's words: "He was an A1 guy for me."
And now Bonam is Utah's guy.
The 6-foot-4 native of Inkster, Mich., officially signed with Utah last week, taking the roster spot of retired center Jeremy Olsen. The third-team All-American for Gillette College last year has always had the talent to be a Division I player as his coaches over the years attest but it took him a little longer to get there.
Expected to compete for a significant role this fall, Bonam plans on being top grade for the Runnin' Utes as they attempt to return to the NCAA Tournament in 2016.
"I want to come in and try to do work," he said. "It's a business. It's a job. You've got to put 110 percent effort into it."
That's probably the attitude Utah's coaching staff hopes to hear from Bonam, who averaged 16.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.6 steals per game last year while leading the Pronghorns to the program's first-ever NJCAA Tournament berth. He's a slasher, a passer, a rebounder, a defender basically anything his coaches needed him to be.
Larry Krystkowiak is cautious about using Delon Wright's name as a comparison for Bonam, but did acknowledge he believes, "there are some similarities."
"It's never easy to see how some of these things transfer to the next level," Krystkowiak said. "But with his passing, rebounding and scoring ability, hopefully we'll have some similar discussions about him that we had about Delon as a guy who could surprise some people."
Bonam is fairly soft-spoken to outsiders, but coaches speak volumes for him. Gillette coach Shawn Neary doesn't think his program could've won 58 games in two years without Bonam, whose penetrating ability, basketball IQ and competitiveness in big games helped drive the team.
Even as he entered his sophomore year, and teams knew Bonam was Gillette's go-to player, it was still hard to stop him.
"His ability to have a feel for the game, I've never seen a player have that high of a basketball IQ," Neary said. "He just got stronger and stronger throughout the season and had a great year. I really think Coach [Krystkowiak] and the University of Utah are going to be glad they gave him a chance."
The Utes recruited Bonam all throughout last fall: The entire staff came to a Gillette open gym just to watch Bonam, and DeMarlo Slocum maintained a relationship with him. He also played with current Ute Kyle Kuzma on Dorian's Pride, a Michigan-based AAU team.
Bonam initially signed a grant-in-aid agreement with Southern Miss last November, but asked for a release in April as the program's future was clouded by an NCAA investigation involving the previous coach. Bonam said after that, it wasn't long before he figured Utah was where he wanted to be.
Bonam said he went to junior college because he didn't keep up his high school grades, but living in Wyoming and clearing out of Michigan was helpful to his focus, he said.
"It was a good experience, a culture shock in a good way," he said. "We had a good team, and it was nice there."
His former coaches hope Utah can foster a similar nurturing environment for Bonam when he arrives in Salt Lake City this summer. If they do that, the Utes won't be disappointed.
"I think coming out of high school, he was easily one of the top-10 to top-five most talented players in our state," Crump said. "He's very talented, very team-oriented. I was very excited to hear he was going to Utah. In my opinion, he can be an impact player at that level."
About Lorenzo Bonam
• Third-team All-American at Gillette College, won 58 games in two years
• Averaged 16.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.6 steals, shot 60.3 percent
• All-state player at Robichaud High as a senior, four-year all-league honoree