Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Brian Bowen’s college career is over before it began and his future is uncertain
By ADAM ZAGORIABrian Bowen’s college career is over before it ever began.
Now his career path is filled with uncertainty.
After learning that he would have to sit out a minimum of another college season per an NCAA decision, Bowen on Wednesday announced he will remain in the NBA Draft even though he’s not projected to be drafted.
“I am completely devastated by the NCAA’s ruling,” Bowen said. “All I ever wanted to do was continue my education and play college basketball, however, after learning of the ruling, and discussing it with my family and attorney, I’ve decided to pursue my professional career. I’m grateful to the University of South Carolina and Frank Martin or believing in me and giving me the opportunity to be a Gamecock.”
“I appreciate the hard work of our staff who worked on behalf of Brian on his eligibility status,” South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner said. “Brian is a hard-working, bright and determined young man who saw himself as a teammate, even though he couldn’t play on game day. We look forward to supporting him in the next steps of his career.”
“I enjoyed having Brian as part of our program and he will always be part of our family,” Martin said. “He is an outstanding person, who took his academic studies seriously and wants to earn his college degree. Brian dreamt of playing college basketball and selflessly contributed to helping his team get better each day while he was here. Participating in college basketball gives young people a tremendous opportunity to learn and grow while enjoying the surroundings being part of a University. I wish Brian had this opportunity. We will continue to support Brian and do everything we can to help him reach his goals. Brian is a proud Gamecock and will be one forever. I hope nothing but the best for him in the future.”
The 6-foot-6 wing was at the center of a pay-for-play scandal that cost Louisville coach Rick Pitino and Louisville AD Tom Jurich their jobs.
Bowen was admitted to South Carolina in January after he transferred from Louisville when the news came out that his family was involved in the FBI probe into college basketball corruption. His father, Brian Bowen Sr., was allegedly set to receive $100,000 from Adidas in return for his commitment to Louisville and to then sign with Adidas upon turning pro.
Bowen has worked out for the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons and the Knicks but is not seen as NBA ready.
“He’s not ready to play in the NBA,” one NBA scout said after the NBA Cobine.
Bowen could be forced to go the G League route — unlike former Syracuse commit Darius Bazley, who chose the G League over college — by virtue of inaction by the NCAA.
“He could try and play in the G League, and I don’t even know if he’s that good,” the NBA source said. “Right now he’s a couple years away from being a couple years away.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.