Project Unfurl


About the Series

THE HEART OF BONAS BASKETBALL is the story of a storied college basketball program told from many perspectives. St. Bonaventure’s basketball team began 100 years ago, advancing to a pinnacle NCAA Final Four appearance in 1970 during a time of national upheaval. Forming an early alliance with fellow Little Three schools Canisius and Niagara, Bona would achieve early recognition as a regular participant in the NIT, winning the tournament in 1977.
LATER, after gaining membership in the fiercely competitive Atlantic 10 Conference, Bona remained among the smallest Division 1 schools (based on enrollment) playing as a “mid-major.”  Bona would find itself sinking in the big business of college athletics that nearly capsized the program, the university and the surrounding community. 

THIS is the story of belief in the face of long odds, the importance of institutional Franciscan values, and the basketball program’s journey of redemption to national respectability, national relevance and, once again, national prominence.

The Heart of Bona’s Basketball is the love, and caring, and brotherhood; the passion that we carry with us for fifty years. It’s unbelievable. Very special.

– Bob Lanier

Bob Lanier Playing Basketball
Providence BillConnery WhiteyMartin

Series Breakdown

Back When We Didn't Know We Couldn't



Building a Dynasty


Early 1960s 

The House That Two Stiths Built



Iron Five and the Final Four

National Champions


1977 NIT  Champs

Big Business of
College Athletics

1980s – 2000

Decorative Image

The Scandal and Rebuilding Years

St. Bonas 2012 Champions

Snubbed and Triumphant


2015 – 2018

Returning Home


George Carter and Entering                                   A New Era of Bona’s Basketball

2002 – 2012

2021 A10 Championship Trophy