HHS alum Bowser fulfilling lifelong dream
For anyone who watched Ryann Bowser play basketball for the Holton girls in high school, one trait of hers that likely stood out was the seemingly endless well of tenacity she pulled from whenever she took the court for the Wildcats.
It’s that same tenacity that took Bowser to the highest levels of success at Highland Community College and opened the door for the HHS alum to make the jump to the Division I level this season, with Bowser now a part of the Texas Tech University women’s basketball program.
As one of the top point guard recruits at the junior college level, after leading the Scotties to a national runner-up finish in NJCAA Division II and being named to the All-America second team, Bowser was pursued by a number of Big 12 programs.
The visit, the facilities and the coaches all made Texas Tech feel like the right fit, Bowser said, and now she is living out an opportunity all athletes hope for and one that she and her closest supporters pushed her to throughout her career.
“It’s always been a dream. I think it’s every basketball player’s dream to make it to DI. Coach BJ (Smith, at Highland) was the best thing to happen to me. He got me here. My dad got me here, so I’m living the dream pretty much,” Bowser said. “I’ve always been super-motivated and determined to make it to the top, to be the best, to be great and I’ve had people push me along the way telling me, ‘you can do this, you can make it to this level.’”
Several of those fans and supporters got a chance to witness Bowser in action recently, as the Red Raiders had road games at Kansas (Feb. 4) and Kansas State (Feb. 15) in a span of less than two weeks.
In the game against the Jayhawks in particular, Bowser looked right at home competing at the DI level. She played a season-high 29 minutes in that game and finished with six points, three steals, two rebounds and one assist in a narrow 71-67 loss.
More than that, Bowser brought the same trademark spark on the defensive end that she did at HHS and HCC to the match-up with KU. She harassed the Jayhawks’ point guards most of the night and was a crucial component of the Red Raiders’ late pressure defense that saw the team nearly completely erase a 12-point deficit in the final three and a half minutes.
Of course, with the amount of success Bowser has had already in high school and college, failure doesn’t seem to be in her vocabulary and she certainly isn’t going to start getting complacent at the Division I level.
“I know how to win. You have to work hard and be disciplined to win games,” Bowser said. “Everybody’s athletic. Everyone’s good, so being average isn’t going to cut it. You have to work to be good. You have to do everything that you can to be the best, to be better than everybody else.”
While Bowser said she already had the mindset and determination to get to the Division I level, she also noted how much coach Smith at Highland was advantageous in that process, pushing her to reach that high level of success.
Smith’s practices and workouts were intense, Bowser said, and because of that she felt she has had an easier time adapting to DI competition.
Adapting to the rigors of a DI schedule may be a bit of a different story, with individual workouts, team practices, classes and study sessions taking up most of Bowser’s time through the week. On average, Monday through Saturday, she said she gets one single hour to herself each day.
That’s all well and good with Bowser. While she said she is having a great experience living out her dream in Lubbock, Texas, she also won’t be resting on her laurels anytime soon. What she brings to the Texas Tech team and the new goals she has set out for herself at the DI level revolve around the same thing that has been at the center of her game since high school, work ethic.
“I seriously go hard every single day. There’s no time off. There are no seconds off,” Bowser said.
What does the future hold for Bowser? Now that she’s finally reached the Division I level, there is a bit of uncertainty revolving around what’s next. For now, Bowser will finish up her junior season with the Red Raiders with five games left in the regular season.
The next step in Bowser’s journey might not have been revealed to her just yet, but if the past is any indication, success is likely to follow her wherever the bouncing orange ball takes her.
Bowser is the daughter of Bryan and Jamie Bowser of Holton. She is the granddaughter of Helen Bowser, Cheryl and Richard Hamlin and Marlin and Betsy Zibell, all of Holton.