The Crusader Newspaper Group

Kenwood Academy hires former NBA standout as new head coach

By Joseph Phillips
Sports Writer

With an outstanding background as a former professional basketball player in both the NBA and overseas, and over five years of coaching experience in the high school ranks, the Kenwood Broncos named Justin Bowen as their new head coach for the boys varsity basketball team on Friday, September 13 afternoon.

Bowen is entering his first full season as head varsity basketball coach of the Broncos. And, his resume includes a lot of playing time, as well.

“I just recently retired in 2012 from playing (basketball) overseas,” said Bowen in an interview with the Chicago Crusader. “Since then I’ve started my own company: GOAT Sports Academy.”

During the interview, Bowen mentioned that his position at GOAT Sports Academy will not only allow him to develop players on different levels on the basketball court, but help develop players’ mental focus in school.

Bowen, a former standout player overseas, also stated that his program basically helps develop players basketball skills and specializes in helping others in the areas of dribbling, shooting and the fundamentals of the game.

Bowen, who recently won a IHSA 4A Boys State Championship title as associate head coach for the Whitney Young Dolphins back in 2017, is looking forward to raising a Chicago Public League championship banner one day, in the near future, at Kenwood gymnasium.

Since coaching throughout the years, Bowen has helped more than 25 players receive scholarships offers from Division 1 schools. His mantra, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you” is something he frequently uses to drive his players to excellence both on and off the court.

“I want to help people on the basketball court and through life,” Bowen said.

In the summer of 2016, Bowen stated he hosted 3 basketball camps, including two basketball camps for former WNBA player and former Chicago Sky and Phoenix Mercury standout Cappie Pondexter and her former teammate Tamera Young.

In addition to hosting successful camps as both a trainer and a coach, Bowen said he will bring that same knowledge, passion and expertise to help lead the Broncos back to prominence.


Bowen accolades and coaching experience includes, five years of coaching experience under Chicago Public League legend Tyrone Slaughter and the Whitney Young Mighty Dolphins from 2015-19, operating GOAT Getters camp from 2017 to present, coached Mac Irving Fire AAU Team from 2016-17, coached Mean Streets AAU Team in 2016, named to the Chicago Sun Times all city team for Marshall high School back in 2001, named third team All State by back in 2001 and received a full scholarship offer to the University of Maryland Eastern-Shores in 2001.


From 2002-2005, transferred to University of Illinois Chicago and made the Horizon League All Conference team, leading the Flames in both scoring and rebounding, led the Flames to the Horizon League conference championship (2004), and led the Flames to a NCAA National Tournament berth (March Madness) back in 2004.


Played for the NBA Chicago Bulls Summer League Team back in 2006. Played professionally overseas for Switzerland in the fall of 2006.Played for the Australia Gold Coast Blaze during the 2008-2009 season. Played for the South Korea SK Knights and its Mobis Phoebus team back in 2009. Came back to the states and finished his professional career in the NBA Development League for the five-time world champions San Antonio Spurs.

“My biggest thing is, if there is no struggle there is no progress,” Bowen said. “There is beauty in the struggle and without struggle, there is no progress.

Joseph Phillips

Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].

Sports Editor at Chicago Crusader Newspaper | + posts

Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago.

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