EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — When Joe Golding took over the UTEP men’s basketball program, there was a glaring hole in UTEP’s frontcourt with the departure of Bryson Williams. Golding’s first signing as the head coach was to address that need and as it turns out, Bonke Maring is exceeding expectations throughout summer workouts.
Maring, who played last season at Blinn College (JUCO), has a unique combination of size and skill. At 6-foot-10, he gives the Miners a presence in the post, but he can also run the floor.
“Bonke is talented,” said Golding. “He can really score the basketball. He has a Conference USA body and he’s just learning how to play hard. There’s a lot coming at him right now, but it’s just different. It takes junior college kids that adjustment period.”
The Cypress, Texas, native averaged 12.6 points and 8.0 rebounds per game for the Buccaneers in 2021. Maring is used to being the only big man in the lineup, which is something he could experience this season if the Miners decide to play four guards.
“I don’t think there’s any pressure because I played this role in JUCO. I was the only big, so, I feel no pressure,” said Maring. “I have good hands. I can score the basketball with my left and right hand, I can run the floor and play a little defense too.”
The Miners are wrapping up summer workouts and while the storyline has been the return of seven scholarship players, including fellow big man Tydus Verhoeven, the offseason work has been vital for Maring’s development.
“This summer has been really good for him,” said Golding. “I’m excited with his growth.”
The college basketball season is scheduled to tip-off on Nov. 9. UTEP’s 2021-22 schedule has yet to be released.