As the 2013-14 boys basketball season wore on, seemingly two or three college coaches per game stopped by the Kokomo locker room to drop Erik Bowen a line.
The level at which he was sought after left Bowen with a plethora of choices on where he would play the next four years of his hoops career. At times, the decision-making process was just as nerve-wracking as it was exciting due to the shear volume of schools courting the 6-foot-6 big man.
“I was definitely honored by how many coaches showed up,” Bowen said. “Having never been through the process before, I didn’t know exactly what to expect. It was definitely stressful at times. I ended up having four or five offers, but between 15 to 20 schools recruited me at one point.
“When it came down to the top three or four was when it really got stressful,” he explained. “It was a good thing and a bad thing at the same time, because all of those schools I felt I could go and be successful at and enjoy my time there. But, it was one of the biggest choices of my life, and I wanted to make sure chose the right one.”
When he originally started to whittle down schools, location wasn’t a major factor for Bowen. But once he had the decision narrowed down to the final few, it did.
Enter Grace College. The NAIA Division II school just outside of Warsaw in Winona Lake stood out to Bowen. In the end, those in and around the Lancers’ program left him with a gut feeling that Grace was the place for him. He announced his decision Thursday to commit to a program which boasts a strong history and has a national championship to its credit.
“It’s definitely a big weight off my shoulders,” Bowen said. “I’ll be able to sleep a bit more at night. It’s nice to know where you’re going to be for the next four years, that you’re comfortable with the school and know the coaches and players well.”