Bowen chases his dreams

Jericho native commits to Florida State for basketball
Jericho native commits to Florida State for basketball
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 10:17 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Taylor Bol Bowen has been around the game of basketball about as long as he can remember.

“I just always had a real passion for the game when I was young,” Bowen said. “And I always just played when I was young through Mini Metro. I just figured that I was gonna work as hard as I can through basketball just because of the love I have for it.”

Bowen isn’t the only hooper in the family. Growing up, he had to take his licks from his big brother Deng Adiang, a former star at Mt Mansfield and Vermont Academy and walk-on at UVM.

“We were like rivals and there were stretches where, like brothers are, we just went at it every day,” Adiang said. “And I think that helped both of us and it’s brought us really close together now. I love him to death and I’m really proud of what he’s doing.”

Deng will always be older...but he didn’t stay the “big” brother forever.

“8th grade, yeah I’d say 8th grade,” the now 6′9″ Bowen said when asked when he surpassed Adiang in height. “It helped having somebody my size to play against because we were always the same height but he was just a little bigger, faster, stronger than me.”

“That was brutal,” Adiang said. “I won’t lie, that was really tough for me. Luckily I was a little bigger so I was able to get him for a little more. But I want to say he came back from prep school this time and it was the first time where I knew that he was confidently better than me and beating me. And that was a really tough day for me but I’m past that now and I’m just really happy for him.”

Like Adiang, Bowen started his high school career with the MMU Cougars before embarking on the prep school route.

“I was really fortunate and blessed with opportunities, like coming and playing with Expressions Elite,” Bowen said of his club team. “And playing at St. George’s (Rhode Island) and getting to boarding school (Brewster Academy in Massachusetts). And I think just like through the opportunities I was blessed to get, I just worked incredibly hard.”

Over the past few years, Bowen has seen his star rise. He’s the 31st ranked player in the country in the class of 2023 according to the 24/7 composite. It’s been a long road that required a lot of sacrifice.

“Expressions and Todd Quarles, he always taught me there’s a price to being great,” Bowen said. “And for me it was just spending my Summers away from home.”

But on Saturday, all that hard work paid off.

“Without further adieu, I’d like to announce my commitment to Florida State University, and I will be a Seminole coming into next Fall,” Bowen said on CBS Sports HQ.

“It was a major factor obviously, just like their track record on who they had before me and what they did with those guys,” Bowen said. “Like Jonathan Isaac, Terance Mann. There’s so many names that I can name, and you know, hopefully I become another name they can add to that list.”

Bowen still has one more year at Brewster Academy before he heads down to Tallahassee, but he’s looking forward to continuing his journey.

“I just really wanted to be the first NBA player from Vermont and that was just really big for me,” Bowen said. “And having that platform and surrounding myself with the coaching staff and the school to do it is really what I wanted to pick.”

And he hopes his story can serve as an inspiration for other Vermonters with big dreams.

“I grew up a firm believer in playing Mini Metro and playing in Blueprint and playing in the local programs,” Bowen said. “And I just played in everything I could. Giving back in those types of ways is just how I’m gonna continue. And coming back and having camps and workouts, I already do work out a few kids and continue to use my platform and give these kids a platform to be able to achieve something similar. You know hopefully I can just continue to inspire other kids to achieve high goals.”

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