Former McDonald’s All-American and Louisville recruit Brian Bowen has signed a professional contract with the Sydney Kings of the National Basketball League, reports Jonathan Givony of ESPN.
Bowen, a five-star recruit in the class of 2017, is the first player signed to the NBL’s Next Stars program, launched in March to provide alternative pathways for NBA prospects who are uninterested in or unable to play college basketball.
“I am honored to be the first player under the NBL’s Next Stars program and feel it will be the perfect next step as I continue the path toward fulfilling my dream of playing in the NBA,” Bowen said. “In joining the Sydney Kings, I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to start my professional career and look forward to learning from all the team’s veteran pros, like Andrew Bogut, Jerome Randle and Brad Newley. I can’t wait to get out to Sydney and join the team.”
Widely known as one of the central figures identified in the FBI’s investigation into corruption in college basketball, Bowen, 19, hopes to put all of that behind him and focus on making it to the NBA like Thunder swingman Terrance Ferguson did before him.
Ferguson, a top-100 recruit in the class of 2016, played with the Adelaide 36ers during the 2016/17 NBL season before becoming a first-round draft pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Bowen, who will make his debut in the NBL this season, will now become automatically eligible for the 2019 NBA Draft after signing a professional contract with the Kings.