Jakobi Bonner ’20 Selected for NCAA Leadership Forum

March 12, 2019

By Audrey St. Clair ’03

Men’s basketball team captain Jakobi Bonner ’20 has been selected for the prestigious NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum.

Jakobi Bonner ’20, a guard on the Rollins men’s basketball team, has been selected to participate in the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum. The forum will take place April 11-14 in Orlando.

A proven leader both on and off the court, the political science major is one of just three student-athletes chosen to represent the Sunshine State Conference (SSC) at this year's forum. The SSC is comprised of 11 institutions with an average of 400 student-athletes per institution. Bonner will be one of only 300 student-athletes nationally to attend the highly selective forum.

“Jakobi is a model student-athlete who strongly desires to develop his leadership skills both to serve his peers and potentially to pursue a career in athletics administration,” says political science professor Joan Davison, who serves as Rollins’ faculty athletics representative and the president-elect of the NCAA’s national Faculty Athletics Representative Association.

The NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum engages a diverse and dynamic representation of student-athletes, coaches, faculty, and administrators. Student-athletes selected to attend the forum return to campus with invaluable leadership skills, the experience of exploring the relationship between personal values, core beliefs and behavioral styles, and a thorough understanding of the NCAA as a whole.

“I’m treating this leadership forum as a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says Bonner, a student in Rollins’ 3/2 Accelerated Management Program, which combines a four-year bachelor of arts and a two-year MBA into a five-year program. “I look forward to learning how to lead with others who have different personalities and different cultural and ethical backgrounds than me. I’m also looking forward to learning how to motivate and lead in times of trials and conflict and how to better communicate my vision to others.”

Bonner has served as the captain of the men’s basketball team since his sophomore year and is the team’s leading scorer and one of the top scorers in the conference. He is also a resident assistant in Rollins’ McKean Hall, where he focuses on promoting inclusion, respect, and tolerance, and is involved in the athletics department’s Captain’s Council, which seeks to unify individuals across different sports.

His interest in the NCAA Leadership Forum was reinforced by Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s visit to campus as a speaker during Winter Park Institute’s 2018 season when the iconic athlete and advocate spoke about societal issues and athletics.

“Jakobi is a very respected member of campus whose leadership transcends athletics,” says athletics director Pennie Parker. “He will represent Rollins well and will come away from the leadership forum with even more dedication, passion, and skills to lead others.”

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