Ben Bowen is doing what he claims is “whatever” for the Mountain Vista boys basketball team.
Bowen, a 6-5 senior who will be heading next season to the University of Wyoming to play basketball, was the leading scorer in the Continental League with a 20.1 scoring average during the regular season.
He was also the league leader in free throws made with 85, third with 90 made field goals and fifth with 65 assists or a 4.6 average. He was second in the Continental League with three double doubles.
“Ben is having a great season,” said Vista head coach Brian Wood. “He has improved a lot since last year and we ask him to do so much more for us than we asked last year. In my opinion, he is the best player in 5A.”
Bowen is definitely the featured player for the Golden Eagles, who were ranked seventh in the CHSAANow.com poll on March 1.
“I am just doing whatever it is to win,” said Bowen. “If I need to go out and score 50 points, I'm going to go out and try to score 50 points. If I'm going to have to have no points and 20 assists, I'm going to try to do that.
“Whatever it is that they want me to do. Bob (assistant coach Bob Wood) and Brian are two of the best basketball minds in Colorado, so I will try to do what they say and buy into their process.”
Mountain Vista faced two tough opponents during the last week of the regular season. Top-ranked Cherry Creek downed the Golden Eagles, 79-61, on March 1 and second-ranked Regis Jesuit prevailed, 62-55, in a March 3 contest.
Bowen had 19 points against Creek and had a double double of 29 points and 13 rebounds against Regis.
“It's been an up-and-down year with everything going on,” said Bowen. “I feel that I could be playing better than I am. I am not necessarily playing bad but there's always places where I can improve.”
Bowen is the son of Denver Nuggets assistant coach Ryan Bowen, who played at the University of Iowa and for four NBA teams including the Nuggets.
“It's crazy to look back on the player I was when I came in as a freshman. So many people I have to thank for my development, my dad especially. I have become a better player and person.
“He's been everything. Looking back he's always had a plan. I always say my Mom was the one who always believed I would become a real good player but my Dad was always the one who pushed me and pulled me along when I didn't want to. I will also be grateful for that.”
Bowen can be easily spotted on the basketball court, wearing the number 13 on his jersey.
“I wanted to wear number 40 because that's what my Dad wore for a lot of his career but we don't have a number 40,” said Bowen. “I just chose 13 and I've had it since my sophomore year. I had last pick my sophomore year because I was the youngest on the team and I've just stuck with it.”
Vista headed into the 32-team Class 5A tournament on March 9 and Bowen knows the Golden Eagles will have to be accurate with their shooting.
“We have to step up and knock down some shots,” he confessed. “We're getting good looks in my opinion. We have good shooters. We are really good defensively. Anything can happen in the tournament.”
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