Cedrick Bowen is a 27 year old 198cm forward from Woodstock, Georgia that has four professional seasons under his belt. He has seen a lot in Europe as he has played for teams in countries like Montenegro, Iceland, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Italy and Lithuania. He began his basketball career at Charleston Southern (NCAA) in 2011 and played four years there amassing 117 NCAA games and as a senior played 31 games averaging 7.9ppg, 4.3rpg, FGP: 62.0%, FT: 65.0%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about his basketball
Cedrick thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how was your summer?
I’m home in the state or Georgia and it was good. I got a lot stronger and working on my dribbling and handling.
In your first four professional seasons, you never had problems finding an opportunity. It’s October now and the season is under way without you. How tough has it been sitting at the phone and why do you feel hasn’t the right opportunity come around yet?
It’s very tough but I know I haven’t got a job yet because the right situation hasn’t come for me yet but I know it will come soon enough.
You have been with eight teams in your first four professional seasons. Would you describe yourself a bit like a basketball Globetrotter? Would you like to be with just one club the next season?
I am well experienced and understand the overseas life. I would love to just be with just club for a season.
Your cousin is Euroleague player Chris Singleton. How much of an impact has he had on you and does his achievements keep you pushing to continue to grind to keep moving up the basketball ladder?
My cousin and I aren’t close but I would love to be just like him. I want to reach the highest level
You paid your dues in your first three seasons playing in lower leagues, but putting up solid stats. Last season you got your first big break for top Italian team Torino that played Eurocup. Your season was short lived. What memories do you have of this season and why didn’t it work out?
My memories were just learning and knowing I can play at the top level. A lot of the players said I could play and wish I could of stayed but because of contacts and business situations I couldn’t stay.
What kind of experience was it playing for a short period of time for legendary head coach Larry Brown. He had his difficulties sending guys home early and then being dismissed in mid season. Did you guys not see eye to eye, or was it more a numbers game in the end?
The experience with coach Brown are unforgettable. He taught me a lot and made me a better player. It was just contracts and business is why I didn’t stay with that team.
How disappointing was it never being able to show your game in Italy? Do you feel like you didn’t get a true fair chance with Torino?
It was disappointing because I know I can play but I understand why I couldn’t because of the business side. I got my fair chance but I was little out of shape but once I got into shape it was more the business side why I didn’t stay with the team because everyone wanted me to stay players and coaches wise.
You kept your head up and finished the season with BC Siauliai (Lithuania-LKL): 32 games: 7.0ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 58.6%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 74.5%. Was it a tough experience having to rebound from the disappointing start in Italy?
It wasn’t a disappointing start in Italy. I went to Italy to learn and get better. I achieved my goal and got better and learned more about the game of basketball.
Let’s talk about your game. You never averaged double figures in scoring in the NCAA, but have shown your scoring qualities as a professional. But would it be fair to say that scoring isn’t what your game is all about.
My game is about winning. Whatever the coach asks me to do I will do. If he wants me to defend and rebound I will do. If he wants me to score I will do. I’m a really good passer and I will do that. Whatever a coach asks me to do I will do.
Defense is a big part of your game as you can play the center position. How much pride do you take in your defensive assignments and do you see yourself as a defensive impact player?
I can guard positions 2-5. I take pride in that because many players can’t and won’t. Defense wins championships and I know me guarding multiple players makes me a player people want.
Your body has been described to 4 time Euroleague champion Kyle Hines. When you hear words like that, is his game something you watch to try to pick tips on how he handles himself at both ends of the court?
It’s a honor to be compared to a player like him but I watch a lot of Derrick Williams highlights and want to be like him. I feel like I’m more athletic and explosive then Hines but I would love to have a defensive presence like him and knowledge but I will be there soon enough.
Your three pointer has been a work in progress for years, but recently you have been shooting the ball a lot better from outside. How far are you away from having that consistent three pointer that will make you content?
When a team picks me up this season they will see a big difference. I’m not far from showing the confidence in my shot from deep.
Two seasons ago you played for two Bulgarian teams and one in Macedonia. How crazy was that season and were you living out of a suitcase?
It was not that crazy because I heard players doing that before. Always being ready for the next opportunity. I wasn’t living out a suitcase because each team I was there long enough to make my presence known.
You finished the season strong with KK Blokotehna Gevgelija (FYR Macedonia-Prva Liga). How important was it having a guy like Dwayne Benjamin around as Americans were pretty sparse that season on your teams.
It was important because most Americans want to be around other Americans because of understanding culture and motivation for each other to achieve our highest goals and potential. He was a great teammate and great friend.
In your second season you had to continue to pay your dues as you played in Iceland for two teams KR Reykjavik (Iceland-Dominos League) playing 13 games averaging 13.2ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg, 2FGP: 54.2%, FT: 84.0%, in Feb.’17 moved to Haukar Hafnarfjordur (Iceland-Dominos League) playing 6 games averaging 5.7ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 44.4%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 70.0%. Americans that ball in Iceland usually take apart the league scoring wise. You didn’t, but how did you benefit most from playing there and experiencing the unique culture there?
In Iceland I just learned how to win with the Top team KR. I learned to become more skilled and as a professional play hard every game and don’t take it for granted.
As a rookie you played for Studentski Centar Podgorica (Montenegro-Erste Liga) playing 17 games averaging 13.4ppg, 5.6rpg, 1.2apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 52.1%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 71.0%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Europe where you knew that you were very far away from home in Georigia?
Just being on my own and learning how to be comfortable and trusting others. My wake up call was when I wasn’t playing well that coach would get on to me for any small reasons but I was the paid player to make a difference. I could not call or go to anyone else. I had to be a man and handle my business.
What kind of relationship did you have with scoring ace Sherrod Wright? He was a guy who put up huge numbers in the NCAA with George Mason and ended up having to pay dues in Iceland for years where he led the league in scoring twice at 28 ppg and 27ppg. He now is looking for a team like you. Is he a prime example of how there are so many talented players in the world, but just too little jobs?
Sherrod taught me to be aggressive and believe in myself. And I know so many players that wait and are hungry and want a job and you have to be patient and when you get a chance. Take an advantage.
You played at Charleston Southern (NCAA) from 2011-2015 playing a total of 117 NCAA games. Was reaching the 2013 Big South Conf. Tournament final as a sophomore one of your biggest achievements there?
Winning the regular seasons championship 2013 and 2015 were my biggest accomplishments.
Do you sometimes look online and watch your game winning put back dunk against Ole Miss? It was rated Sports Center’s top play. How much does that still mean to you today?
I looked at it today with friends and I still can’t believe I did that. It means a lot to me because so many people doubted me and look where I was and am now.
It seemed like you really improved your rebounding as a senior. In a four game stretch you hauled down 24 offensive rebounds. How do you feel did your game develop in your last few years there?
It was just a mind set like it is now. Be aggressive and know what you do at being the best
When you were a freshman, Kelvin Martin was a senior. How much of a role model was he for you? I am sure you have witnessed his development as a pro. He had to pay his dues in the lower Italian leagues and play in Holland. In his fifth season he finally cracked the German BBL and this season is playing his third season in Italy’s Serie A.
I was supposed to be the best kelvin martin in college. He told me and still tells me how great I can be. I want to be just like him and he tells me to be better than him.
How did head coach Barclay Radebaugh groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
He told me to have fun and be the best I can be.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Paul Gombwear?
It would be a great battle but against anyone I will always say I will come on top even if it’s Michael Jordan in his prime.
Who was the toughest player that you faced in the NCAA that would play in the NBA?
Please pick your NBA Rushmore of four NBA heads past or present.
Michael Jordan Lebron James Shaq Magic Johnson
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
Lebron James is the greatest player of all time. He has a better all around game.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Cedric for the chat.