A look at the career of A10 Player of the Year Bones Hyland

The second video to show up on YouTube if you search “Bones Hyland” has 3.3 million views.

It is called “Nah’Shon ‘Bones’ Hyland Destroys Two Philly Trash Talkers,” and it is electric. Watching it now makes you feel like you are in on the world’s greatest secret.

The video was posted in the fall of 2017. In it, a high school aged Hyland is playing one-on-one on an outdoor court after dark. A decent crowd surrounds them. They have come to see the show.

Per the scoring in the video, all shots are worth one point, which should de-incentivize 3-pointers. That does not seem to matter to Hyland. He starts the first matchup by taking an elbow jab and firing from deep. It is nothing but net.

“Make it, take it” rules are in effect. So, Hyland starts again. The future VCU star drives left, stops on a dime, takes an incredible step back and swishes another 3-pointer. 2-0.

With the ball again, Hyland jabs twice and fires another 3-pointer. Like the first two, these were nothing but net. The gathered crowd is fired up.

Hyland does eventually miss, but he hustles and grabs the offensive board. He is practically toying with the defender, who is chasing him all over the half-court. Hyland almost loses the ball but regains control and fires his deepest 3-pointer yet.

To the surprise of nobody, it is nothing but net. This game is essentially over.

Oh, and did we mention that this net has double rims?

The rest of the seven-minute video is mostly the same, with Hyland displaying many of the moves we have grown accustomed to seeing in 2021. He crushes the Philly trash talkers in quick succession while playing the game with the same energy that he plays with in the black-and-gold. To this day, Hyland’s game revolves around having fun and shooting impossible 3-pointers. Watching him play truly feels like watching a kid who always dreamed of being the guy trusted with the game-winning shot.

Personal Challenges

The house fire that would alter Bones Hyland’s life occurred on March 25, 2018.

Per reporting from The Daily Times, Hyland had just returned from an AAU game when his home in Wilmington, Delaware became engulfed with smoke.

With no other options, Hyland was forced to escape by jumping from his second-floor bedroom window. The ensuing fall would tear his patellar tendon.

Hyland’s grandmother and two baby cousins were taken to the hospital after the fire. His grandmother Fay and cousin Maurice would later die from their injuries. Hyland has a tattoo in remembrance of the two of them.

In addition to the loss of his family members, Hyland would be sidelined for six months while recovering from the injuries suffered escaping the fire.

In his return to the floor at St. George’s, Hyland showed no signs of rust or injury. He began his senior season with a 40-point outing, leading St. George’s to a nine-point victory. Hyland would leave school with the all-time scoring record and as the highest-rated player in Delaware.


Bones Hyland committed to VCU on June 4, 2019. Ranked 60th by 247Sports, Hyland became the highest-rated VCU commit since De’Riante Jenkins from the class of 2016. Like Jenkins before him, Hyland’s main strength entering the team was his 3-point shooting, to provide an offensive jolt off the bench and to handle the point guard duties when senior Marcus Evans was injured or on the bench.

In his freshman season with the Rams, Hyland appeared in all 31 games, starting in nine of them. In that time, he averaged nine points per game, good for third on the team and the highest mark by a VCU freshman since 1999. The Delaware native also set a VCU freshman record by making 63 three-pointers. All signs pointed to Hyland embracing an off-ball shooting guard role with the arrival of Ace Baldwin. In this role, Hyland would flourish and see his scoring totals skyrocket.

Player of the Year

Bones Hyland was appointment television this season. Every time he touched the ball, there was a good chance a spectacular deep 3-pointer would follow.

Hyland’s accolades this season are a proverbial laundry list: first 30-point game by a VCU player since 2018, 19.4 points per game scoring, 37.2% shooting from 3-point range and 45% from the floor. Second on the team in steals, third in assists and third in rebounding.

The most important accolade: Bones Hyland became the first VCU player to win A10 Player of the Year since the team joined the conference. The last VCU player to win conference player of the year was Eric Maynor, who won back-to-back awards in the CAA in 2008 and 2009.

Eric Maynor’s jersey hangs in the rafters of the Siegel Center, his overlooking the home floor where he became a VCU legend. Maynor is responsible for the single-greatest VCU highlight in program history, hitting “The Dagger” in the 2007 NCAA tournament against Duke, giving VCU an upset win against a “blue blood” university. 14 years later, “The Dagger” remains top of the list on any VCU highlight reel.

Maynor also holds a mark that is starting to sweat a bit: the all-time program scoring record. Maynor scored 1,953 career points from 2005-2009, the most by a player in VCU history.

With the A10 title game against St. Bonaventure and at least one March Madness game (hopefully) ahead to finish out 2021, Hyland has totaled 725 career points. If Hyland scores his average of 19 in both games, he would need 525 points in each of the next two seasons to equal Maynor’s record.

While Hyland’s legacy on Broad Street is already secured, VCU fans can be assured that the best may still be yet to come in Hyland’s collegiate career. With additional time to improve his game, along with a VCU team that is returning nearly every player in 2021-22, Hyland has the chance to break out on a national scale with an exceptional VCU squad.

For now, though, all focus comes down to Sunday, where the Rams will vie for their first conference tournament title since 2015.

As anyone who watched Hyland make 3-pointers on double rims on YouTube knows, it is sure to be a master class in offense.