By Steve Williams
I’ve been covering high school basketball in the Knoxville area for over 40 years, and Carter High School’s Jordan Bowden is one of the most exciting players I’ve seen play the game.
Bowden is a 6-4 senior who is listed on the 2014-15 Runnin Hornets roster as a SG/PG. That’s shooting guard/point guard.
He’s also a PATRG. That stands for plays above the rim guy.
If Jordan plays in Murfreesboro this week like he played last week in Strawberry Plains, the number of schools recruiting him will grow by leaps and bounds.
Bowden torched a talented Greeneville team for 33 points in Carter’s 85-71 Class AA sectional victory last Tuesday night. His fourth dunk of the contest with three seconds left was the proverbial exclamation point.
Brad Woolsey, in his fifth season as head coach and 14th overall at Greeneville, was highly complimentary of Bowden after the sectional shootout.
“Bowden is a great player, one of the best finishers around the rim I’ve seen in high school,” said Woolsey. “He’s unbelievable. If you don’t contain him, if you don’t keep him off the boards, you’re going to have a long night.
“Yes, he does (look like a D1 prospect.).”
I had the opportunity to visit with Bowden after the sectional game. I found Jordan not only to be an athlete, but an excellent student, very articulate and a yes sir, no sir type of young man.
Schools that have offered him a scholarship thus far?
“My first one was Lee University in Cleveland and the second one was King University up in Bristol,” answered Jordan.
Interest from Division 1 schools?
“ETSU, Tennessee Tech was here today, Furman, UNC-Wilmington all have shown interest, and Tennessee came to watch me play one game,” said Bowden.
With UT assistant Al Pinkins reportedly looking on, Bowden scored 50 in a 110-91 win over Alcoa in early February.
Has UT been back anymore?
“No sir,” he said. “They said they would come though.”
I’m surprised they haven’t already been back.
“My dream is to play Division 1 basketball, but if it doesn’t happen, I’ve got to figure out something,” said Jordan.
Would it be a dream to play for Tennessee?
“It’s always a dream to play for your home state,” answered Bowden. “It would be fun to play with them.”
Jordan’s uncle, James Bowden, played on Austin-East’s 1977 Class AAA state championship team and went on to play at Tennessee Tech. His dad, Allen Bowden, also played at A-E, he said.
Johnny Darden, a longtime and highly respected high school coach at Rule, Carter and CAK, still watches a lot of prep basketball in town and has been impressed by Bowden.
“He’s an excellent prospect,” said Darden. “Yes, I think he’s a Division 1 prospect. I’m not a great predictor on things like that. One would just have to determine how high he could go. There’s a wide range in Division 1. He could play at the ETSUs and schools like that, but I don’t know about the SEC level.
“It seemed to me early in the season he was more of a shooter from the outside the times I saw him and was shooting a lot of 3s. Later in the season, he started going to the basket more and doing that very well. I think that will catch the eye of a lot of college scouts and coaches. He’s also been a very good free throw shooter.”
I finished my interview with Bowden by asking how he was doing in school?
“I’m making A’s and B’s right now, and this semester I want to finish out with all A’s,” he said.
Seeing him get high marks at the state tournament this week won’t be a surprise, either.