Updated: Jul 11, 2020
Born as a refugee in Egypt, Taylor Bol Bowen grew up in Jericho, Vermont, a small town of just 5,000 people. He comes from a family of basketball players, with two older brothers having played basketball at the collegiate level. With a work ethic and a drive to get better, Bol Bowen began to make a name for himself this past season while playing with the Expressions Elite AAU program. Now standing 6’8”, Bol Bowen is starting to generate D1 interest as a versatile defender, with a rapidly improving offensive game, and he now holds offers from Iowa, George Mason, Bryant and Vermont. Bol Bowen is also an outstanding student and carries a clear appreciation for the history of the game.
In this interview, Bol Bowen talks about his older brothers, his strengths and weaknesses on the court, his past season with St. George’s School, his off-court interests, details his decision to reclassify, and much more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2023 prospect Taylor Bol Bowen, from Jericho, Vermont:
Pro Insight: Tell us about your background and your story? Where were you born? Where did you grow up?
Taylor Bol Bowen: I was actually born in Egypt. I was born as a refugee but my family moved to Vermont when I was younger, when I was two years old. Then I was adopted because my parents had a rough time. And even since then I’ve just been grinding, working hard and I just fell in love with the game playing with my older brothers.
PI: Can you talk a bit more about your brothers?
TBB: Yeah, my oldest brother Tinga [Adiang] played for St. Lawrence, he went to Vermont Academy and is just finishing up his degree. And my other brother Deng [Adiang], he plays at UVM and he’s here right now with me and we work out all the time together. He’s been a really good older brother, showing me what’s right from wrong and work ethic and habits.
PI: What did you take from the experience of being a refugee?
TBB: My takeaway is like, you just got to work hard, teaching me the value of hard work and you got to do everything you can to get to the point where I am now, from where I was.
PI: Did you play any other sports growing up?
TBB: Yeah I played a little bit of football, but nothing crazy and I always just liked basketball. I played soccer when I was younger but it was always basketball for me since the start.
PI: Walk us through how this past high school season went for you?
TBB: It went really well actually, I couldn’t have asked for a better season. Had a great coach and some great teammates. My school isn’t a historical basketball school but we got a few recruits and just turned the page and became a really good basketball school, in my opinion. We started off really well, we beat St. Andrew’s, a good AA school and then we just started rolling and rolling. At one point, we had like a 19-game win streak, I want to say, 17, 16 something like that we were just winning and winning, playing well, playing good as a team. And I was able to develop a lot. I was working hard, waking up early and Coach taught me a lot. Just playing at a high level, just learning, he taught me so much.
PI: Describe your game. What are your strengths?
TBB: I believe my biggest strength is the ability to be versatile. So, when I first started I had trouble shooting, but then I was just waking up early every morning, getting shots up, form shooting, and I developed into a good outside 3-point shooter. And I just think that my versatility, I can do so much and defend multiple positions, I think that’s my biggest asset.
PI: What’s one part of your game that you are trying to improve?
TBB: I’ve been working a lot on my ball handling and my strength. My brother, his old coach Matt Elkin, we’ve been Facetiming him and he’s been putting in work with us, giving us handling drills so we’ve been doing that.
PI: How have you been able to work out and stay ready during this quarantine?
TBB: I actually have a family gym that I’ve been going to every day and getting shots up, working on my body and working on my handles.
PI: What went into your decision to reclassify from 2022 to 2023?
TBB: I was already very young for class of 2022. So, the way my path worked is that I joined the Expressions team and the Expressions program very late this season, after Peach Jam. They took me to a tournament, and took me to Hoop Group All-American Camp and I made a top-20 team there and then being super young, I was only 14-15 at the time, and then St. George’s reached out and said ‘we want you, you seem like this would be a good fit.’ And the assistant coach from my Expressions team also coaches at St. George’s, so I knew it was going to be a good fit because I really liked him and he always kept it real with me, Coach [Christopher] Ward, and it was perfect, just a good fit. And I decided I’m going to go here and I’m going to reclassify to 2023.
PI: What do you love most about the game of basketball?
TBB: I just love the beauty of it, you know what I mean, I don’t think there is anything like it. There is nothing like hitting a 3 or dunking on somebody and just getting the crowd wild. It’s up-tempo and fast paced, it’s just so fun to play.
PI: What has the recruiting process been like for you so far?
TBB: It’s been great. It’s been a learning curve for sure. At first, I just expected I would come here and work and just get offers. That was my mentality, but I absolutely switched that. It’s just a byproduct of winning and getting better. And then you’ll focus on the next level. But it’s been a great process, I would say.
PI: What are you looking for in a school?
TBB: I’m looking for a school that is going to put me in a position to get me into the NBA and give me good minutes, coming in, immediately. And I’m looking for a good school overall, like academically, because I have very good grades. I have like a 3.8 [GPA] I want to say, and I want to go to a school that is high academics so I can get a good degree, and you know I just want like a good school culture, all-around.