Great on the Hardwood and off the Court

March 23, 2018

 

by Len Lathrop

Anyone who has been around in the last 18 or so years of the Steckevicz Gym at Alvirne may have met Max Bonney-Liles as his mom is the athletic director of the school that both he and his brother attended. But all those years ago, who would have imagined that in 2018 this, now 6-foot-4-inch, high school senior would be named the 2018 Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year for New Hampshire? This month Max was also chosen as the Division 1 All-State Player of the Year, stepping up from a Division 1 All-State second team member in 2017.

Scoring his 1,000th career point on Feb. 27 as the Broncos defeated Winnacunent 74-72, Bonney-Liles averaged 21 points per game during the season as the Broncos compiled a 12-6 record and went into the NHIAA D1 tournament as the seventh seed. This ranking earned them a home game against Merrimack, whom they bested 50-39; then Alvirne traveled to Exeter to meet the #2 seed who handed the Broncos an eight-point loss.

Bonney-Liles is the fourth Bronco to receive the Gatorade distinction, joining Caleb Donnelly, Mike Konovelchick (2001) and Pat Manor (1988). The Gatorade State Player of the Year award was established in 1985 to recognize the nation’s most outstanding high school scholar-athletes for athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character.

Making a difference in the community, Max has volunteered for the Special Olympics, the NH Vietnam Veterans Welcome Home Ceremony, also serving as a counselor for summer camps and as an assistant for the Alvirne JV basketball team. All of this while maintaining a B average in the classroom.

Speaking with Max, you find out that he is pondering many big decisions, considering either Keene State College or Suffolk University, both Division 3 schools. Max sees the Keene basketball squad as being very competitive, while Suffolk he was unsure about as their team is playing in a new league this year. And, of course, there is another option of doing some post-graduate studies and playing ball at an elite prep school with the goal of being picked up at a D1 or D2 school.

Currently sport broadcasting is where his career aspirations are leaning.

When looking at his career as a Bronco, he emphasized “no regrets” and commented that he left everything on the floor when he played. He credits his moms as being his support system, as well as his fellow seniors on the team: Connor Lambert, Christos Tufts and Ryan Ruigrok. Without hesitation, he identified Nate Hergenhahn as an influence on him; how he saw the memorial where Nate was killed and looked up what he could find out about him. Max spoke about Hergenhahn’s message, his strength and his impact on the school and how he used that message to guide him. Hergenhahn’s life was cut short in a car accident on Old Derry Road on Sunday, July 30, 2006. A teammate, Taylor Terrio, perhaps captured Nate’s essence best: “The Lord never made a better soul, gentleman at heart, competitor in spirit, champion in body, and a role model for all.”

If you have watched Max in the various sports that he has played at Alvirne, you don’t have to look very hard to see Nate Hergenhahn’s message has rubbed off on Max Bonney-Liles.