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A Closer Look At Garland Owens

Garland Owens

Garland Owens

Oct. 30, 2013

by Dominique Oliveto

Freshman Garland Owens' journey to the Boston College basketball roster has been anything but average.

After watching the Gaithersburg, Md., product play, you might get the impression he has been a long-time apprentice of the game. He actually did not start taking basketball seriously until his junior year of high school.

The 6-foot-5 swingman claims he only began playing basketball because he realized he could master a feat that aspiring hoop stars only dream about: he could dunk at age 13.

A born athlete, Owens played football before deciding to focus his talents on the hardwood and pursue playing at the collegiate level.

It looks like he made the right decision.

During his senior campaign at Magruder High, the versatile big-man led his team to a Maryland 4A state title. He was the leading rebounder for the Colonels and named the Montgomery County Sentinal Player of the Year as a senior. Owens also received All-Sentinal first league and all-league first team accolades from the Washington Post.

Prior to graduation, Owens gave a verbal commitment to attend Boston College over offers from Seton Hall and UTEP, among others.

However, instead of jumping straight into the collegiate circuit, Owens made the mature decision to spend a post-grad year at Massanutten Military Academy, a co-ed boarding school in Woodstock, Va., where he played basketball under head coach Chad Myers.

"I was young. I was 17 and I thought I had room for growth," Owens said. "I still had not been playing basketball that long so I decided to take a post-grad year. I played a lot against some of the nation's top players so it balanced out and I got a lot of experience. Academically, I got help on things that I needed and an extra year to get ready for college."

Owens was under a strict regimen at Massanutten, consisting primarily of school work and hoops. It provided him with the discipline needed to compete at the ACC level.

"Our practices were really competitive and it just made me a lot better," Owens said. "It made me look at basketball differently and realize that everything counts. It changed my whole mindset."

The military-style discipline and extra focus on basketball proved beneficial in the long run, smoothing the passage for the young forward's debut at Boston College.

"He has really transitioned well into our system already," head coach Steve Donahue said. "I think it helped that he did a post-grad year and he was here all summer, so he did get an advantage over a lot of freshmen. He's played with older guys and that probably helped him along the way as well."

"The unique thing about Garland is that he is extremely athletic, yet he's disciplined," Donahue added. "I think he has a very high basketball IQ. He is one of our better passers already and with that he adds things that we don't have. He's a very good offensive rebounder, a guy who can defend one through four and a very good finisher in transition."

Owens surely has had quite the journey to get to Chestnut Hill, and it is far from over.

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