(Luke Bonner is a former professional basketball player who currently works as Sports and Entertainment Marketing Manager at GYK Antler and runs the Rock On Foundation in New Hampshire with his brother Matt.  He’s quite tall, can grow a great mustache, is one of the chief advocates of paying NCAA athletes and is now a proud father.)
First off, what is the Rock on Foundation about? 

Luke Bonner: The Rock on Foundation is something that my brother Matt and I started as a way of giving back to the community that we grew up in, New Hampshire. We both played basketball our whole lives (Matt currently plays for the San Antonio Spurs) but we were always interested in the arts as well, specifically music. So we started Rock On as a lighthearted nonprofit that promotes wellness and creativity through the arts and athletics.

So The Rock Foundation essentially marries the two?

LB: Sort of yeah, we hold events throughout the year in effort to raise funds so that we can give back to youth athletes and artists alike.  We’ve refurbished basketball courts, hosted different community events, built out a grants program and have developed new platforms to provide more exciting opportunities for emerging artists and creatives.



The big event that you guys hold is on NBA All Star weekend right?

LB: Yeah, that’s one of them. The “Alt-Star Party.” It’s basically an indie rock extravaganza at All Star Weekend, usually pretty DIY, punk type of feel. Not the type of event that you’re going to find bottle service or even a VIP section for that matter.


LB: Ha, We like to think so. It’s a lot of fun, and we’re able to do a lot of good through the success of the event. We’ve hosted the event in New Orleans, New York City and Toronto with artists including Girl Talk, The Walkmen, The Hold Steady, BADBADNOTGOOD and more. It’s quickly become a stand-out event for All-Star weekend. Not bad for a little shindig put together by some New Hampshire folks.

Luke and Matt
All Star weekend is a star studded affair did you have a lot of celebrities show up?

LB: Are you TMZ? (LAUGHS) Yeah, we’ve had some celebs. The beauty of All-Star Weekend is that you never really know what’s going to happen. Father John Misty just happened to be hanging at our NOLA party. Jason Sudekis and Olivia Wilde made an appearance this year. I’m not sure anyone really noticed though, which is cool. People are there for the experience and music more than anything. Actually funny story, I saw Sudekis about halfway through Girl Talk’s set and I was like, “Man, I should probably get a picture of him with my brother.”  So, I ask Sudekis and he was super friendly and happy to take a photo with Matt. I turn to grab my brother, but he happened to walk off. So, I was kind of stuck there and decided, ah well, I’ll just take the pic with Sudekis. So in my haste, I just hand over my phone to the girl with Sudekis, and ask her to take it, she smiles, takes the picture and I get out of there.  It dawned on me as I was walking away that the girl was in fact Olivia Wilde.  (LAUGHS) But in all honesty, the biggest star appearance this year had to be Tony Parker Sr. Probably the smoothest, most well dressed human being on the planet.

That’s great.  So as you know we’re primarily a hip hop platform and that is heavily tied into basketball culture as well.

LB: Yeah, I’m actually a big hip hop head too.

Exactly, so with that in mind I wanted to play a game of word association, I’ll give you an NBA Player you give me the corresponding rapper.

LB: Let’s do it.


Russell Westbrook?

LB: He’s so aggressive, I’m thinking somebody from Wu Tang, maybe Raekwon, yeah Raekwon. But, with the way he dresses, I have to go with Andree 3000.

Does that make KD Big Boi?
No, that’s gotta be Cameron Payne. Nobody reps the DMV quite like KD, so he has to be more of a Wale.
 Steph Curry?

LB: Kendrick Lamar. He kind of just stormed onto the scene and absolutely took over. The efficiency of his game is so high and he’s so creative. You can see how past stars influenced his game, but he kind of exists as a type of player we’ve never seen before.

LeBron James?

LB: Has to be Jay Z right?

Alright a couple more, DeMarcus Cousins?

LB: Killer Mike? Huge presence, but you don’t necessarily see him that much. Then, he blows you away when he’s on team USA. I guess Team USA is his version of Run the Jewels.

And finally, your brother, the Red Mamba, Matt Bonner?

LB: He’d have to be an underground guy from New England. Maybe Sage Francis? Definitely more Sage Francis than Macklemore.