Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Woodland Hills Grad Signs at Junior College

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Woodland Hills Grad Signs at Junior College

Article excerpt

Keandre Bowles and his mom had a 'We're not in Kansas anymore' moment last month.

The strange thing was, the two were actually in Kansas, having flown there so Keandre could visit a college.

"It was very different," Bowles said. "It was like a different world out there."

But while it didn't look much like his hometown of Turtle Creek, Bowles said it felt like a home away from home, so much so that he has decided to continue his basketball career there.

Bowles, a recent graduate of Woodland Hills and the WPIAL's leading scorer last season, signed with Barton Community College in Great Bend, a great route for players hoping to earn a Division I scholarship. From 1998-2017, the program sent 57 players to Division I schools. The Cougars compete in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference, one of the top junior college conferences in the country.

"I want to go there and do well academically and in basketball, and hopefully get blessed with some offers from some Division I schools, go there and do what I do, and then make it to the league," he said.

Bowles, a 6-foot-3 guard, averaged 28.9 points a game his senior year and was named to the Post-Gazette's Fabulous 5 team. He scored 30 or more points 10 times and shot 47.5 percent from the field. He finished his career as the second-leading scorer in Woodland Hills history with 1,240 points.

Bowles said he had offers from PSAC schools, but sought a less-traveled route. Enter Barton CC, about 1,100 miles away from home. A Barton coach reached out to Bowles in May, and he visited in June. Both Bowles and his mom were sold.

"She wanted me to sign as soon as we got home," Bowles said with a laughing, adding, "I loved it there. It felt like the best fit for me."

Bowles isn't the first star player from the WPIAL to head to a Kansas JUCO in recent years. Beaver Falls' Josh Creach briefly played at Hutchinson Community College, which also competes in the KJCCC. Creach eventually transferred to Harcum College near Philadelphia, which is where he played last season. …

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