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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Guilford athletes graduate, go pro around the globe

Guilford College is well-known for its academics, but has also produced professional athletes. While there is not currently a whole host of Guilford athletes in the professional ranks, there are a few notable examples.

Ben Strong

Ben Strong was a tremendous player during his time at Guilford College. He holds second place on the Quakers’ all-time scoring list with 2,241 points. Strong participated for the Quakers’ during the 2004-2005 season to the 2007-2008 season. Also, he was a two-time winner of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Kurt Axe Memorial Men’s Basketball Player of the Year award. Strong was named the NCAA Division III Player of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and in his junior year.

“Playing pro was never in my mind before I got to Guilford, but the staff and coaches there were also really helpful in my growth process,” said Strong.

“Ben wasn’t a very big talker, he just went out there and did his thing,” said head men’s basketball coach Tom Palombo.

He went on to sign a contract with the Maccabi Haifa Basketball Club, located on the northern coast of Israel in Israel’s third-largest city. After finishing out his two-year contract with Maccabi Haifa Basketball Club, he looks to begin a new one. Currently, Strong is playing with Landstede Basketbal Zwolle, in Holland, where he is starting a new season with the team.

Tyler Sanborn

Tyler Sanborn was another phenomenal athlete who played for the Quakers’ men’s basketball team. Sanborn played under All-American Ben Strong, from whom he learned much. He played during the 2006-2007 season to the 2009-2010 season for the Quakers’.

He won three national player of the year awards his senior year, including the DIII News Player of the Year award, NABC NCAA Division III Player of the Year honors, and a Basketball Times Player of the Year award. Sanborn is the sixth player to score 1,000 points and rebounds in his career at Guilford. Also during his senior year, he received recognition as one of the top athletes in the ODAC as well as in the nation. He was a regular athlete who put the time, hard work, and effort into becoming the player he is today and to get where he is now.

Sanborn currently plays for Basket Navarra Club, more commonly referred to today by its sponsorship name of Grupo Iruña Navarra. Grupo Iruña Navarra is a professional basketball team based in Pamplona, Navarra, in Spain.

“Ben, along with Tyler, are without a doubt two of the most talented big men that I’ve ever had the privilege to coach,” stated Palombo.

Josh Vogelbach

Josh Vogelbach played for the Quakers’ football team during the 2005 season to 2008 season, where he was an amazing quarterback.

He holds all of the major passing records here at Guilford including passing yards with 13,591, completions with 1,189, pass attempts with 1,982, 200-yard passing games with 28, 300-yard passing games with 25, total offensive plays with 2,240 and career 300-yard total offense games (28). He was a team captain and a four-year starter who set NCAA Division III career records in numerous categories.

“It’s going to be hard to leave my friends and Guilford in general, but this is the next stage in my life and I can’t wait to get started,” said Vogelbach before leaving Guilford.

When he left Guilford he went on to sign a contract with the Extreme, a team in the Indoor Football League (IFL), in Bloomington, IL. Vogelbach left his mark here at Guilford with the records he broke, but we only hope that he can also leave his mark in the IFL.

Rhett Bonner

Another Quaker who went on to the pros is Rhett Bonner, a former Guilford basketball player. Bonner recently signed a contract with the Washington Generals, the rival of the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters. Bonner played for the Quakers’ during the 2006-2007 season to the 2009-2010 season.

These are a few of the more recent Guilford College athletes that went on to play in the professional ranks.

Guilford College maybe be nationally known in academics, but you can’t say that there hasn’t been great athletes who have gone on to play in the pro’s.

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