STEVE HANLON: The end of the world as we know it

2012-12-07T21:30:00Z 2013-05-06T22:35:05Z STEVE HANLON: The end of the world as we know itSteve Hanlon Prep Beat nwitimes.com
December 07, 2012 9:30 pm  • 

ST. JOHN | The world is going to end on Dec. 21 of this year — or so some have claimed. Whether you believe this or not is your call, but evidence suggests the eternal lights really could go out in less than two weeks:

Former Merrillville coach Jim East said he will root for Crown Point when the Bulldogs host the Pirates on Dec. 21.

Yep, the guy who coached Merrillville for 31 years and became a Hall of Fame coach still wears purple pajamas to bed will be rooting for Crown Point.

Maybe the Mayans were right?

“Blood is thicker than anything else,” East said.

Blake Bonin, the reason East will be wearing red soon, is a freshman point guard at Crown Point. He is also East's grandson. Blake was a Merrillville ball boy back in the day.

Blake got a baby photo with Curtis Granderson when Blake's father, Leo Bonin, coached at T.F. South. Coach Leo was on the bench with his father-in-law in 1995 when the Pirates played in the state championship game.

“(Blake) was forced to play basketball,” Leo said before Friday night's C.P. game at Lake Central. “He was in the gym almost every day.”

At 5-foot-7, generously, Bonin looks like the little brother of every varsity player. But for the third game in a row, the pint-sized super sub dressed and played varsity.

Last Friday he wasn't told until late that he would be dressing varsity. His mother, Kara (East) Bonin, looked at her son sitting at the end of the bench against the Slicers.

“I thought he looked so cute,” said Kara, the principal at Salk Elementary School, in Merrillville. “I wanted to take a picture.”

Bonin played the last six minutes of the game and went 4-for-4 from the free throw line in preserving the Bulldogs' win.

“It was fun, exciting,” said Bonin after Friday's 65-44 loss to the Indians, where he only played four minutes. “They're all bigger than me. I just have to go out there and play, do my thing.”

Bonin is going to be a very good varsity player. He is a very good junior varsity player now. He's so good he has his grandfather changing colors.

“It was fun growing up in my family,” Bonin said. “I was always in the gym.”

Crown Point coach Clint Swan believes in his young players — all of them — but he doesn't want that used as an excuse. The unshaven Bulldogs are only going to get better. C.P.'s freshmen class is very good.

Bonin leads the way.

“Blake controls his own destiny,” Swan said. “He's gotten where he is through a ton of hard work. Whatever comes his way, he deserves it. He's playing with (varsity) because of the position he plays.

“He has the chance to be a very good player.”

This kid and this program is going to be a lot of fun to watch over the next four years.

That is, of course, unless the Mayans are right.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at steve.hanlon@nwi.com.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Who was the area's best baseball player this season?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News