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David vs. Goliath: Bonds Signs With Georgia Northwestern

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Bondsí sister, Rikkila Christian, and his father, Larry Bonds are pictured on either side of him
Tysean (Ty) Bonds of Southeast Whitfield High School in Whitfield County, Georgia signs his letter of application with Georgia Northwestern Technical College. Bonds will enter GNTC this fall as a student-athlete who plans to major in Management.

(Dalton, Georgia) ó For Georgia Northwestern, the David versus Goliath storyline applies to most of their dates on their collegiate schedule. Starting in the 2010-11 season, another small giant will rise up from the prep ranks to appear on the Mustangs roster. A line-up which faces larger competition in non-conference games on a regular basis. Southeast Whitfield forward Tysean (Ty) Bonds signed his letter of application to the two-year basketball program on April 16.

The 6-2, 175 pound senior Raider has been on the small side of almost every opponent his high school team has played this season. Facing post players that have been six to eight inches and up to 80 pounds larger doesnít seem to bother the soft-spoken young man from Dalton. Bonds played his first two years of high school basketball at Dalton High School before transferring to Southeast Whitfield High School for his final two years.

"Iím very blessed to get this opportunity," the soft-spoken prep giant said. "So many people donít get this kind of chance. Georgia Northwestern is giving me a chance." Northwest Georgiaís largest college currently enrolls more than 6,000 students in more than 200 programs across four campuses and online. However, Bonds has one program on his mind. "Management," said Bonds. "I really would like to study management and get in there and find out what it takes to be successful in management."

Southeast Whitfield High School Head Boyís Basketball Coach, Josh Carter summed it up best. "Ty is a young man who wants to help himself," said Carter. "Iím a firm believer in helping those who help themselves first. Ty is one of those people. The one thing I hear from anyone that came out to see him play this year is that he works so hard. He gives a lot of effort out there and gives his all. Most kids his age are finger pointers and blame others. He is quick to take responsibility for himself."

One thing you pick up on with Ty right off the top is that he appears to be slow to speak, quick to listen; a belief that will surely help him on the college level. "Coach (David) Stephenson spoke with me and he really seems to be a very straight-forward man," said Bonds. "He puts God first on his team and thatís something I really do appreciate."

Bonds has been extremely thankful for his opportunities being selected as a starter for his high school basketball teams for all four years. The first two years he was a starter on the Catamount roster at Dalton High School. Then, he moved in with his father, Lamar Bonds, for his final two years and attended Southeast. His father, an employee of Shaw Industries in Dalton, Georgia for the past 23 years, says he is pleased that his son is becoming a young man to be proud of. "Treat people the way you want to be treated is what my father has taught me," said Bonds.

"Ty is very close to all of his family," said Carter. "Keeping him close to home, all while being able to get an education he can use, as well as being able to be a student-athlete, is a great thing for him." Tyís sister, Rikkila Christian, was a high school basketball player who graduated from Dalton High School in 1993. When asked who wins one-on-one, Rikkila said, "If I have my Jís (Air Jordan basketball shoes) on, I win. If I donít have them, Iíll give him the win."

The undersized post player in high school managed to layout and plan his immediate future, off and on the court, almost entirely on his own. "Since he arrived at Southeast, he has really started working hard and asking questions," said Kristin Spoon, Southeast Whitfield High School Guidance Counselor. "He was asking about colleges and making plans for his future from an early point. He truly did all the footwork on his own. He made it happen. His family really wanted him to go to college, but just wasnít sure how to handle that financial responsibility. However, given all the options out there, he quickly found out that college was truly a real option for him."

In the end, it came down to family. "My family supported me from all sides," said Bonds. "Even my cousin, Nic, really helped me with what the future holds for me." Bondsí cousin, Nic, is Nic Perry, point guard for the Georgia Northwestern Mustangs. Perry is a Chattooga High School grad that received regional honors on the prep level before signing on the dotted line to attend GNTC in 2009. "He told me about the program and the college. It was a good fit for me and my plans when it comes to my future," said Bonds.

At a time in his life where life itself may be the biggest giant Bonds is facing, itís obvious that the support of his family at home and school will help him make all of his opponents much more manageable. Tyís mother, Priscilla Jordan, is currently facing health issues and was unable to attend the signing. She currently resides in Calhoun, Georgia. "My family is very proud and I am really feeling blessed," said Bonds.

Tryouts for the 2010-11 squad will take place at the beginning of October. For more information, contact GNTCís Head Menís Basketball Coach, David Stephenson, at basketball@gntc.edu