May 31, 1942|
|Died||April 16, 2016
|Listed height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Listed weight||192 lb (87 kg)|
|High school||Muncie Central
|NBA draft||1964 / Round: 2 / Pick: 16th overall|
|Selected by the Boston Celtics|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA and ABA statistics|
|Points||723 (6.1 ppg)|
|Rebounds||170 (1.4 rpg)|
|Assists||44 (0.4 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Ronald D. "Ron" Bonham (May 31, 1942 – April 16, 2016) was an American professional basketball player.
A 6'5" (1.96 m) forward, Bonham attended Muncie Central High School in Muncie, Indiana, where he earned the nickname "The Muncie Mortar" and "The Blond Bomber." As a senior, he averaged 28 points per game and earned Indiana's "Mr. Basketball" award as he led his team to the state runner-up spot. He was twice named first-team All-Indiana and was named MVP of both Indiana vs. Kentucky all-star games as a senior. He graduated in 1960 as Muncie Central's all-time leading scorer with 2,023 points, which also made him the all-time scorer for the state of Indiana.
Bonham narrowed his college choices to Purdue University and the University of Cincinnati. He attended Purdue for three days, but realizing he had made the wrong choice for him, he returned home and then decided to attend his other choice, Cincinnati, due largely to the national success gained by the Bearcats during the recent Oscar Robertson era.
As a sophomore under coach Ed Jucker, Bonham averaged 14.3 points per game, led the Bearcats with a .760 free throw percentage and was named All-Missouri Valley Conference (MVC). The Bearcats won the MVC title and posted a 29-2 overall record. Led by Bonham, Tom Thacker, George Wilson, Tony Yates and Paul Hogue, on March 24, 1962, they won their second consecutive NCAA championship with a 71-59 win over Ohio State.
As a junior in 1962-63, Bonham led the Bearcats in scoring with 21.0 points per game and in free throw percentage at .892, again earning All-MVC honors. He was named a consensus first-team All-American selection. The Bearcats went 26-2 and again won the MVC, but on their way to a third national championship they were defeated in the finals by Loyola University Chicago in overtime, 60-58.
As a senior, he again led the Bearcats in scoring with a 24.4 average and a .819 free throw percentage and was co-team MVP with George Wilson. For the third straight season, he earned All-MVC honors and was named second-team All-American. Cincinnati ended the season 17-9.
Bonham was selected in the second round (16th overall) in the 1964 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics. As a rookie in 1964-65, he was a backup forward, played 10 minutes per game in 37 games and averaged 7.4 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. He did, however, win a championship ring as the Celtics went 62-18 and won the NBA title with a five-game series victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
In 1965-66, his playing time decreased to eight minutes per game in 39 games as he averaged 5.2 and 0.9 rebounds per game for the 54-26 Celtics. The Celtics, however, won the NBA title again, this time in seven games over the Lakers.
His NBA career ended after those two seasons. He didn't play professionally in 1966-67, but in 1967-68 he returned to play in the American Basketball Association (ABA) for the Indiana Pacers. In 42 games, he averaged 5.8 points and 1.4 rebounds per game in what was his final professional season.
Bonham served as the City of Muncie assistant parks superintendent and chief caretaker of 2,300-acre Prairie Creek Park in Indiana for 38 years until 2011. For 12 years during that time, he served three terms as a Delaware County, Indiana commissioner. On June 30, 2012 upon his retirement, the City of Muncie declared it "Ron Bonham Day" for all he has accomplished and meant to the area. He and his wife, JJ, resided on a 52-acre property that doubles as a wildlife habitat in Delaware County. As of 2013 they have been married 33 years, and they have one daughter, Nicole.
- Denny, D. (2013). Glory Days Indiana: Legends of Indiana High School Basketball. Skyhorse Publishing Company, Incorporated. ISBN 9781613214824. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
- "Celtic Nation: THE unofficial home of the Boston Celtics". celtic-nation.com. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
- "Ron Bonham | Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame". hoopshall.com. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
- "What the Hell Happened to...Ron Bonham? | CelticsLife.com - Boston Celtics Fan Site, Blog, T-shirts". celticslife.com. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
- "Ron Bonham NBA & ABA Stats | Basketball-Reference.com". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
- "1964-65 Boston Celtics Roster and Stats | Basketball-Reference.com". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
- "1965-66 Boston Celtics Roster and Stats | Basketball-Reference.com". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
- "City of Muncie Celebrates 1st Ever "Ron Bonham Day" | City of Muncie, Indiana". web.archive.org. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
- "GoBEARCATS.COM Ron Bonham Bio - University Of Cincinnati Official Athletic Site University Of Cincinnati". gobearcats.com. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
- Career statistics and player information from Basketball-Reference.com