Former Ram was recently ACC Freshmen of the Week
A year and a half ago, Kyran Bowman chose to focus on basketball.
He passed on an opportunity to play football at the University of North Carolina so that he could follow his heart, his passion.
Bowman, who signed to play college basketball in February at Boston College, is now starting as a freshman in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
“I knew coming in that it was going to be ideal,” Bowman said of playing at Boston College, which didn’t win an ACC game last season. “People told me it was going to be hard. I’ve tried to maintain a positive mindset, just knowing I can do it.
“Being able to keep in touch with my family members, just knowing they were always there for me, they played a big role in it.”
Last winter, Bowman, as a senior at Havelock High, averaged more than 23 points per game in leading the Rams to the eastern regional semifinals.
The 6-foot-1 guard has made a seamless transition to the college ranks.
He’s started 11 of Boston College’s 14 games, posting 11.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per contest.
“I was doubted, but I stayed positive,” Bowman said. “I knew where my heart was and I just wanted to play basketball. I worked hard every day just to get better.
“I’ve come out and tried to play to my ability and have tried to be a leader on and off the court.”
His coming-out party may have just been a 15-point performance in Boston College’s 72-71 victory over Auburn Dec. 12 in a nationally-televised game at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
“It felt great just playing at the Mecca of basketball,” Bowman said. “It’s a great achievement to get to play at MSG. Being able to go out there and play hard with my teammates, was great. It made our team bond stronger and it made a big statement.”
Bowman,, who is now referred to as Ky in college, followed that up with 33 points, eight rebounds and five assists in a loss to Fairfield, and a 16-point, eight-rebound performance in a victory over Providence. Those performances earned him honors as the ACC Freshman Player of the Week.
“I feel like it’s a big honor to play in the ACC and start as a freshman,” Bowman said. “Not a lot of people can say they’ve started as a freshman in the ACC. It’s one of the best achievements of my life.”
He followed those performances with a game-high, 30-point effort New Year’s Day against ACC foe Syracuse, hitting 7 of 8 from beyond the 3-point stripe and adding a season-high nine assists. It was Boston College’s first league victory since March 10, 2015.
Bowman, who started picking up basketball offers while traveling with NBA star John Wall’s sponsored AAU team, said he’s still learning and adjusting to life at the college level.
The Eagles (8-6) have already exceeded their victory total from last season.
“The adjustment for me is getting to know when to use my speed,” Bowman said. “Playing at Havelock, I could use my speed whenever I wanted. Coming here is a change of pace. You have to get your defenders off guard and you have to make smart decisions.
“Coming in as a freshman, I’m still trying to learn things and help this team win every game that we can.”
Bowman returns to North Carolina this week for back-to-back games at Wake Forest on Tuesday and at Duke on Saturday.
“I’ve come out and tried to play to my ability and have tried to be a leader on and off the court,” Bowman said. “We are all together. We are trying to pick up each other and making sure we are on the same page.”