Tyler Lee's Ja'Kayla Bowie signs for basketball with Texas State

Published on Monday, 13 November 2017 18:51 - Written by CHRIS PARRY, cparry@tylerpaper.com

Tyler Lee senior Ja’Kayla Bowie put pen to paper Monday morning and officially became a Texas State Bobcat.

“I’d like to thank all of my family and friends for supporting me every step of the way and pushing me to be the best I can be,” Bowie said to the large gathering of students, teachers, coaches and media at Varsity Gymnasium.

“There is nothing like sitting in that chair and signing. It’s just overwhelming and I wish everybody could do it. It feels great.”

Bowie committed to Texas State in September after receiving an offer in June from the Lady Bobcats. Last year Bowie averaged 12.5 points, 2.8 steals, 6 rebounds and 2 steals per game.

“I was looking at other possibilities, but nothing clicked for me like Texas State did,” Bowie said. “I can’t wait to play college ball and show what I’m made of.”

Bowie is a four-year starter for the Lady Raiders. In that time she’s played for three different head coaches - Nigel Boyles, Jacquetta Brown and Ross Barber. This will mark Bowie’s second year with Barber, who was hired last year and led Lee to its first playoff win since 2005.

Barber said Bowie is a big reason Lee experienced success last year and is already averaging double figures through four games this season.

“She knows that her leadership on and off the court is (so) valuable (to this team),” Barber said. “She’s had three coaches - that’s three different styles, three different philosophies and three different personalities that she’s had to learn how to understand and play for. I am blessed to have had and continue to have the opportunity to coach this young lady.”

Bowie earned first-team all-district 11-6A honors last year as a junior before also being named to the Tyler Morning Telegraph and ETFinalScore.com’s All-East Texas Girls Basketball Team as a first-teamer.

Bowie joins a Texas State team that competes in the Sun Belt conference and made it into the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (NIT) last year, falling in the first round to end with a 16-15 overall record. The Lady Bobcats are 1-0 this season after knocking off Texas Tech from the Big 12 in their season opener.

Before she joins that team, Bowie has unfinished business to accomplish at Lee, and is looking forward to playing her senior season knowing her college future is secure.

“It’s stress free to play for my high school team and not worry about anything else; and try to bring a district championship to Tyler Lee,” Bowie said.

Notes: The Lady Raiders’ home opener is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday against Hallsville. Lee is 4-1 with its only loss, a nine-point setback to perennial power DeSoto (3-0), which reached the 6A regional quarterfinals last year.