Sydney King Brian Bowen says he is “stronger mentally” at this year’s NBA Draft Combine, after playing a professional season in the NBL.
Bowen has impressed scouts at the combine in Chicago, with one college coach telling Adam Zagoria, “he looks way better than he did last year”. The combine plays a vital role in players hoping to get drafted, as it provides NBA teams a first hand look at a prospect’s skills and measurements.
After being ruled ineligible to play college basketball after an incident, Bowen joined the Kings under the NBL Next Stars program, which he says helped his physical and mental growth.
“For all the stuff I’ve been through, I’ve pushed through it and I know I can overcome a lot of things. I have to look at it like taking it day by day and realise there are people in situations that are way worse than mine as far as life.
“I’m just out here trying to play basketball. My confidence is at an all time high.”
Bowen played 14.8 minutes per game in Sydney, averaging 6.3 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. The 20-year-old believes being made to earn minutes, as opposed to being gifted opportunity, will help him adjust to the NBA lifestyle.
“You’re not going to play every game every night,” Bowen said.
“You’re not going to play 25-plus minutes every night. I just want to be prepared with that, playing with those veterans and try to pick their brains.
“It was a great experience for me. Trying to learn the ropes from all the veterans on the team and the coaching stuff. It felt good to be able to play.
“I feel 100 percent great about the move.”
Brian Bowen looks much more confident and stronger after a year in Australia. Has 11 points.
‘I think he looks way better than he did last year,’ one college coach told me. pic.twitter.com/pR2RkQrOAn
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) May 16, 2019
NBL CEO Jeremy Loeliger has spoken publicly about more young prospects coming to Australia as an alternative road to the NBA, and Bowen endorsed the pathway – if you approach it with the right attitude.
“It’s a great move if you have the right mindset going into it,” Bowen said.
“If you’re going to be immature about it, then it isn’t a good move.
“If you go about it, handle your business, then the future is bright for any prospect going out there.”
One of the benefits of playing in the NBL is the possibility to play NBLxNBA games, which Bowen did last year when the Kings played the Los Angeles Clippers.
“It was a great experience,” Bowen said.
“It was my first time playing against an NBA team. It was truely a blessing.
“I really enjoyed it, those guys were really helpful to me in Australia during that game and during the process.”
Bowen also explained what he was trying to showcase to NBA teams at the combine, saying he wanted to display the things he learnt in the NBL to a NBA audience.
— NBA Draft (@NBADraft) May 16, 2019
“My versatility…I don’t want to try and do too much, just go out there and do what I do,” Bowen said.
“Play hard, crash the glass, rebound, and do the little things to help my team win. I’ve improved in my all around game. That’s what I want to show. I can shoot the ball from NBA range now, feel a lot more confident in my ball handling. Just show my all around game.”
There is a chance Bowen returns to the NBL next season, as he is still contracted to the Kings.
Brian Bowen NBA Draft Combine Measurements and Testing:
Standing reach – 8’7”
Height W/O Shoes – 6’6.25”
Wingspan – 6’10”
Standing Vertical Leap – 32.0 inches
Max Vertical Leap – 35.5 inches
Shuttle Run – 3.21 seconds
Lane Agility – 10.98 seconds
Three Quarter Sprint – 3.33 seconds
NBA Break Left Shooting % – 40.0%
NBA Break Right Shooting % – 40.0%
NBA Corner Left Shooting % – 60.0%
NBA Corner Right Shooting % – 80.0%
NBA Top Key Shooting % – 60.0%
On The Move 15 Shooting % – 56.7%
11 points and 6 rebounds in 21 minutes of scrimmage
— NBA Draft (@NBADraft) May 17, 2019