The Chipola College junior forward Cinmeon Bowers has caught a lot of people’s eyes on the court, but that’s just one thing about him. While he is moving up the ranks as one of the top junior college prospects in the country, his past is what made him the player he is today. Just ask second year coach at Chipola College, Patrick Blake. Blake can definitely tell you how special this kid really is.
Blake wish he could clone a dozen of players like Bowers, because of the way he carries himself on and off the court.
“You wish you had 12 of him because of the toughness that he brings to the floor,” said Blake of the 6-6, 240-pound big man. The Racine, Wisconsin native is currently visiting the University of Memphis through Tuesday.
“He’s a very charismatic kid. Great personality. Every now and then he needs to tone down a bit, but you love the energy and passion he plays with. You’d rather have a kid play with too much energy and passion than a kid that’s not out there competing every possession.”
The main reason Bowers is so tough and physical in the sport that he loves is because of an incident that took place two years ago. You can call it “The event that changed his life.”
Blake describes Bowers as a mixture of former Big East Players of the Year Jae Crowder (Marquette/Dallas Mavericks) and DeJuan Blair (Pittsburgh/Dallas Mavericks). He’s definitely tough knowing that he survived a robbery attempt during his junior year of high school in Milwaukee where he was shot multiple times in the leg.
“It’s a lot of haters where I’m from,” said Bowers. “They tried to rob me.”I was in the passenger seat and my guy tried to pull off. They opened the door and they started shooting. We were on some snow, so we really couldn’t take off.”
Bowers is thankful to not be dead right now. The bullets ripped through his leg, popping him in the knee and in his shin but he survived. After that, he had to go through six months of rehab. “I had to learn how to walk again,” said Bowers.
At the time, a lot of schools were after Bowers but due to the incident, schools stopped recruiting him. “Everybody thought it was over,” he said. Bowers would eventually get back to playing basketball, leaving Milwaukee to play his final year of prep basketball at Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem, N.C., where he was ranked a three-star prospect.
“That’s a rare case, but fortunately for him he’s been able to use it to learn and gain from, and apparently that’s where a lot of his strength and toughness comes from,” said Blake. “There’s no physical side from that, fortunately for him.”
After enrolling into junior college last year, Memphis was the first school to recruit him hard and decided to offer him a scholarship. With the offer on the table, the Tigers are hoping that he becomes one of them instead of drifting off somewhere else. With the relationship he currently has with assistant coach Aki Collins, Memphis is definitely in the driver’s seat. Collins has had his eyes on Bowers since his days as an assistant coach at Marquette. With the visit to Memphis intact, Bowers will also be making visits to Florida State (Sept. 6) and Louisville (Sept. 27) before making his decision.
“He’s got a few great schools recruiting him, and Memphis has done an unbelievable job recruiting him. I think he’s excited to take these official visits and hopefully find the place that fits him the best,” said Blake. “Memphis has been relentless. That’s why they’re so successful on the recruiting trail. They do a great job of building relationships with everyone involved.”
Brad Winston, who currently runs JucoRecruiting.com and last year had another Memphis target, senior guard Geron Johnson, ranked as the top junior college prospect in the Class of 2012.
“Bowers is definitely top-five when it comes to 2014 junior college prospects. Honestly, he could end up at No. 1,” said Winston.
“We run the All-American JUCO Showcase in the summer in Atlanta, and I thought he was the best player there,” said Winston. “His size, strength combination … he’s a man. He doesn’t care who he’s playing against. He’s ultracompetitive and tough.”
Blake mentioned that Bowers has developed a nice jumpshot from the outside, which could add flavor to his game. His strengths are primary attacking the basket. Bowers doesn’t want to be limited to only playing one style. He feels that he’s too skilled for that.
“I ain’t no back-to-the-basket guy,” said Bowers, who averaged 11 points and 6.9 rebounds in 18.7 minutes a game at Chipola College last season. “I like to do my thing, man. Take them off the dribble and all that. I’ll post up, though. I want to ask Memphis a few questions I’ve been thinking about. I heard they signed a couple four-men and five-men for 2013. But I ain’t tripping. I ain’t worried about nobody, you feel me?”
I received this information from the Commercial Appeal.