By Miguel Nesbitt, Staff Writer
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. (Oct. 1) – Children dream throughout their childhoods about what they want to be when they grow up.
Although they are told to never lose sight of their dreams, most children end up settling for something less extravagant than what they had hoped for.
Settling just wasn’t in the cards for one local St. Bonaventure University grad.
As a young boy, Tim Bontemps, a 2007 Bonaventure graduate, dreamed of becoming a sports journalist.
“Ever since I was ten, I knew that it was what I wanted to do,” said Bontemps.
Over this past summer, Bontemps’ dreams were fulfilled.
After more than 16 years, Fred Kerber decided to step down from his position as the Brooklyn Nets beat writer for The New York Post. After hard work and dedication at the newspaper, The Post selected Bontemps to replace Kerber.
Bontemps commented on how humbled he felt to grow up as a farm boy from Randolph, N.Y. and become a beat writer for an NBA team.
“Being a beat writer is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” said Bontemps. “I love the NBA, and I always knew that I was capable of being a beat writer.”
Bontemps also added that he feels very fortunate to share a profession with such a select group of people.
Bontemps mentioned that replacing Kerber has been a hard task, but a challenge that he has willingly taken on.
“Fred is a legend in the league,” said Bontemps. I don’t worry about replacing him; I just want to do a good job. I’m not Fred, so I have to put my own stamp on it and hope that people enjoy my material.”
Bontemps said his motto and way of life has helped put him above the rest.
“I work just as hard if not harder than everyone else,” said Bontemps. “My motto has always been to outwork others and put your best effort forward.”
Even though Bontemps has made it to the professionals in terms of sports writing, he never forgot his years at Bonaventure.
“I loved my four years at Bonaventure; I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” said Bontemps. “The friendships and connections I made there will last a lifetime.”
In his four years, Bontemps covered the men’s basketball team which put his name out there and helped develop sources and relationships.
His biggest supporter throughout his college career was Bonaventure grad, Mike Vaccaro.
After being introduced to him freshman year, Bontemps became good friends with Vaccaro, using him as a valuable resource along the way.
“There is no way I would be at the Post if it wasn’t for Mike’s help,” said Bontemps.
But it was Bontemps’ hard work in school that ultimately got him there.
“Write, write, and write some more,” said Bontemps. “It is very important to develop your own brand or style of writing that you’re comfortable with.”
He also spoke about the importance of doing stories that you know more about than others.
“Anyone can write a story on an NBA basketball player, but not everyone can write about the talent Demitrius Conger possesses,” said Bontemps.
He added that it helps make it easier to develop a voice throughout your writing.
The NBA season opener is just weeks away and Bontemps couldn’t be happier.