South Stokes senior Ben Bowen collected nearly 20 offers to play collegiate basketball and recently announced he’ll be staying close to home and joining the program at Catawba College in Salisbury.
“I feel it was a good fit for me and I really liked the coaches there,” the athlete said. “Their coaches are going to really push you to be the best you can be. I thought the campus was beautiful and they have great facilities. I believe playing with them will be challenging, but will help me as a player and a student.”
During his time at South Stokes, Bowen earned 1,283 points, 912 career rebounds, 342 blocks and 180 assists from the center position. He’s the second highest scoring player in the school’s history behind Craig Boyles. His team improved each year and finished with 61 overall wins, including a 20 win season during his senior campaign and a third round loss to eventual state champion Winston-Salem Prep.
Bowen finished runner-up player of the year in the Northwest 1A Conference and was awarded all-conference, all-northwest, all-region, a member of the West All-Star Triad team and participated in the Barnstorming Tour against ACC players at Forbush High School last week. Bowen also played varsity soccer for four years and was named all-conference and all region goalkeeper his junior season.
“Ben has great character and an unbelievable work ethic,” said Saura coach Jason Clark. “It’s been such an honor to have been around him the last four years. He is one of those players that can’t be replaced. He has missed one practice in his time here. We just hope that other kids look at him and see the work he has put in and wants to be like that. He has been a good example for our other players. I believe he will have success at Catawba and they’re going to be pleasantly surprised at how well he will do.”
Bowen is a member of the Beta Club and the National Honors Society. He plans to study exercise science while attending the school.
He is the son of Marsha and Tom Bowen and his grandfather, Bill Stone, was also recruited by Catawba College when he played high school basketball.
“We are very proud of Ben and all of his accomplishments,” said his mother. “Catawba is a good choice for him because that is where he has wanted to go from the start. We are very happy for him and obviously how close it is.”
Catawba College is ranked fourth among the best colleges in the South and its athletic teams compete in the NCAA Division II South Atlantic Conference as the Catawba College Indians.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.