H.S. BASKETBALL | Marcus Bowie Trying To "Live Up To The Name"

01/26/2018 06:39 PM

There are just 43 names that hang in the rafters of Rupp Arena. One of which, is Bowie.

“When I look back at my playing days at the University of Kentucky, that was second-to-none. I was blessed to play 11 years of professional basketball, but whenever I reminisce, I always go back to my collegiate days game and playing in front of 24,000 strong every game at home in Rupp Arena it’s something that will always treasure,” former UK big man Sam Bowie told Spectrum News.

Bowie was a second-team All-American twice at Kentucky, the second pick in the 1984 NBA draft and an NBA All-Rookie first teamer, but his greatest accomplishment is being a dad.

“People assume because I played 11 years of professional basketball, I was drafted before Michael Jordan, that I have a magic touch and I can just touch my son and he’s this little magician that comes out spinning the ball, but I can honestly say that he’s put in the work,” Bowie added.

His son, Marcus, is a senior at Sayre School. Having the name Bowie and playing basketball in Lexington can cast a long shadow.

“I mean, that’s always like the go-to for trash talk for a lot of players on the court, is the whole ‘Sam Bowie, live up to the name type-thing’, but that might be like the negative end of it,” Marcus explained.

“That’s where I want to apologize to him, because I don’t think it’s fair. A lot of times when we walk in a gymnasium, the first thing people say to me is ‘Bowie, which one is yours?’, ‘what number is yours?’, because they expect him to be touching the top of the backboard, scoring 30 points, grabbing 20 rebounds , so I wish that he could be quote ‘just an average 17, 18 year old kid,’ but that’s never been the case for him,” Sam added.

Despite pressure to perform, Bowie averages over ten points per game and has grabbed 90 rebounds this season. He credits a lot of his success to his dad.

“After every single game that’s kind of what I look forward to the most, coming out of the locker room and he’s, I wouldn’t say a harsh critic but usually when I come out of the locker room the first thing we get to usually is what went wrong, what I didn’t do well and I like, even though it’s a negative thing it’s always good to hear that going in to the next game and know what to work on. Especially from him,” Bowie said.

Like father, like son. Marcus wears No. 31 like his old man did.

“Seeing him play is like a bigger version of me which is cool. And obviously a little bit better… well he played a lot more on the perimeter for a big man would usually do and that’s kind of what I pride myself on, like I can maybe stretch the floor a little more than most big men can,” Marcus said.

“I see a lot of myself and it’s almost scary and hilarious at the same time, because even the way he holds his hands on his hips or the way he runs I see it and it’s comical to see how many people come up to me and say ‘man oh man, is that kid out there yours or not? He does everything like you,’ so there’s a lot of similarities,” Sam added.

Marcus said the best advice his dad has given him is simple.

“The best advice he’s given me on the court is always been like, and as cliche as it sounds, just being your own player and I think the reason he said it is because obviously living up to him. He doesn’t want me to try and be just like him because there might be s few shortfalls and maybe even size, but just being your own player and not worrying about anything else and doing your thing on the court.”

Marcus hopes to continue his playing career at the collegiate level and would love the opportunity to follow in his dad’s footsteps at Kentucky.

“I would definitely be up for that challenge. I feel like every kid, especially in Kentucky, their dream is to play for UK and I’m no different. I would definitely love to walk-on or scholarship either way. I would love to play for them.”

Bowie and Sayre face Breathitt County on Saturday night on the road at 7:30 p.m. eastern.

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