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February 07. 2013 10:51PM

Bonner earns spot in 3-point competition after campaign


San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner (15) shoots during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at the AT&T Center on Dec. 31. The Spurs won 104-73. (Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports)

Matt Bonner will toe the line at the NBA's Foot Locker Three-Point Contest. Bolstered by an Internet campaign for his inclusion, the San Antonio Spurs forward was one of five newcomers picked to compete in the event Feb. 16 as part of All-Star weekend in Houston.

"I've been waiting my whole career for the opportunity to compete in the contest," Bonner said in a recent interview with New Hampshire Union Leader reporter Kevin Gray. "I appreciate all the support from everybody."

Musician David Hartley, from the band The War on Drugs, began the online campaign to "Let Bonner Shoot," and Bonner's brother, Luke, wrote an open letter to the NBA in support of his sibling. The Concord native and nine-year NBA veteran also received support from actress Eva Longoria, musician Win Butler of Arcade Fire and Gov. Maggie Hassan, who tweeted, "NH is proud of #MattBonner and we would love to see him represent our state in the 3 point contest."

"From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank everyone who supported me in getting to compete in the Three-Point Contest," Bonner said Thursday in a statement.

This year's contest features a new format that pits the Eastern Conference against the Western Conference.

Bonner joins Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and Ryan Anderson of the New Orleans Hornets on the Western Conference team. Indiana Pacer Paul George, Cleveland Cavalier Kyrie Irving and New York Knick Steve Novak represent the Eastern Conference.

Bonner has averaged 3.9 points and 2.0 rebounds in 42 games this season. He's 32-for-76 from the 3-point line.


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