NEW GLASGOW – Sunday afternoon in Fredericton, Chase Bowden led the Holland College Hurricanes to their first ACAA men’s basketball championship with a 70-61 victory over the host St. Thomas Tommies.
Bowden, hailing from New Glasgow, scored 16 points and had 15 boards in the final for the Hurricanes. Not only was he ecstatic about helping win the school’s first Atlantic title, but he was also pleased about how his team played on the Tommies home court.
“We’ve been through so much this year it is truly amazing that we were able to stick together and get the job done when it counted,” said Bowden. “Our number-one goal this year was to win this title and go on to Quebec, and even though things weren't looking good the last little while, we all knew that in the end we would come together and do what needed to be done. This is the best and closest team I have been apart of by far. It also is a great feeling to get coach (George) Morrison another banner.”
He said the last time the team played in Fredericton they didn’t get the result they wanted and that the Tommies used home court to their advantage. This weekend, with more Holland College fans in attendance, it was less intimidating according to Bowden.
“We had barely any fans there (last regular season visit) and they had a lot of people yelling trying to get into our heads and it worked,” he said. “This time our girls team and family members showed up and were extremely helpful keeping up and even drowning out the STU fans. That place is definitely tough to play in, especially against an opponent like STU.”
Prior to the championship weekend he was also named the ACAA rookie of the year. Bowden said it was something his team and coaches expected him to have a good chance at, but he didn’t share the same thoughts as them.
“When I heard my name called it was an amazing feeling to know that all the hard work I put in with my team was being recognized league wide,” he said. “After sitting out since 2008 and not playing ball it feels great that I was able to lace up the shoes and get right back into playing at a high level.”
He said that after playing in high school and not being recognized that he moved to Truro for a few years and didn’t play at all. After moving back to New Glasgow he started playing in a men’s league again, which sparked interest in playing competitively again.
“I hate losing even in pick-up ball, so I started to train and get back in shape and started to take it really serious last year,” said Bowden. “My friend Emily Morton who went to Holland College at the time told coach Morrison about me and now here I am.”
“My family just always gave me that motivation to do what I want to do, and follow my dreams; they are amazing and are always there when I need them.”
The team will travel to Sainte Anne de Bellevue, Que., for the CCAA basketball championships March 14-16. This will be Bowden’s second national championship, which was also played in Quebec. His last one was in 2007 when he played on the U-17 Nova Scotia team.
“Three years ago on March 2nd my Uncle James Reddick passed away, and I dedicated this whole weekend to him. This was for you, rest in peace.”
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris