Interviewed by Bob Guiney
Photos by Mario Barberio
HMU Michelle Vanderhule
Stylist Natalia Na’lia
I’m a lucky man! There’s no doubt about that. I get to do so many fun things – and thankfully get to be surrounded (a lot of those times) by some absolutely beautiful women. For several years, I’ve gotten the great fortune to attend the Kentucky Derby and the best charity event – the Unbridled Eve Gala. As a result I’ve gotten to hang out with, and become very good friends with an absolutely stunning, incredibly gracious and truly beautiful (inside and out) woman. She’s an avid sports lover, an animal lover (she actually owns race horses), a huge supporter of our troops, and still finds the time to look damn fine in a bikini… All while maintaining a great sense of humor! A shining example of her funny bone: Instead of correcting an over served MC at a Kentucky Derby event several years ago – where he murdered her name – she chose to laugh hysterically along with me and allow me to continually refer to her publically as “Bibby Jean McGillicutty” ever since… I love her! Your October cover girl – the beautiful, selfless and multi-talented Bonnie-Jill Laflin.
There is so much to talk about with you… So let’s get right to it – you and I have been friends for about 10 years now, and I’ve always known you to be a huge animal lover and a very generous supporter of our troops! I think it’s safe to say these two movements are very important and dear to you? Have they always been causes you were passionate about?
Absolutely! At a very young age, I was rescuing dogs and saving every animal I found. I grew up with horses and farm animals so they were my furry friends 🙂 My mom is a huge animal advocate and she instilled in me the need to always rescue –and to be involved in animal welfare. My Uncle was a Gunnery Sergeant in the Marine Corps and both my grandfathers served in WWI – one receiving a Silver Star and a Purple Heart. So, support for and giving back to the Troops was just something I did from the very beginning…They are my heroes!
I love that! Did your upbringing have a lot to do with all the different things that you love doing today??
Without a doubt. I grew up as a tomboy and sports freak from my Dad! And cheerleading & dancing and being a “girly girl” came from my Mom. Me and my Dad would be at every sporting event growing up and I knew how to read the sports page and daily racing form before anything else! (lol!) All while my Mom was bringing me to my ballet school and modeling shoots.
Some may say your parents were raising the perfect woman!! I’m sending them a Thank You card! Ok… Golden State warriors, San Francisco 49er and Dallas cowboy cheerleader!! Huge accomplishments!! That’s awesome!! Were you always thinking cheerleading was something you would be drawn to and doing?
For me, I was a dancer growing up and I love sports, so it was the best way to express both my passions – Dancing for my favorite sports teams from the best seats in the house!
That’s awesome!! Now, I’m pretty sure I know the answer and I hate to ask – but I’m a journalist!! If it’s the 49ers versus the Cowboys…. Who are you cheering for??
Are you trying to get me in trouble?!!? Next thing, you’re probably going to ask me which of my fur babies I love the most.
HAHHA well played!! Ok then. Take us thru the transition from NBA and NFL cheerleader to being the first & only female NBA Scout – for the LA Lakers of all teams!! How did you make that jump!?
I was a broadcast journalism major in college. Cheerleading got me the attention of Hollywood, but I knew I didn’t want to leave the sports world behind as that’s my true love! So I went into sports reporting. I covered the Lakers for the CBS affiliate in LA, and would often get into in-depth conversations with their owner, Dr. Jerry Buss. One day, Dr. Buss told me the Lakers were thinking of seeing what a female point of view would mean in scouting, so I tried my hand at it – and it stuck!
That’s Huge! And such a cool opportunity! What about life outside of entertainment! What do you do for fun? For anyone who follows you online, you’re clearly close with your dad, you love sports, you love horses, you’ve been overseas w the troops, and you love bikinis!! (At least we love you in bikinis! Thank you for the bikinis part!)
I think you pretty much answered your own question there, Bob. My life consists of my charity work, sports and being with my family and friends. And you’re welcome about the bikini stuff! .