Former Lions great enjoying time as pro


Willie Brown

Former Missouri Southern mens’ basketball standout Skyler Bowlin is moved to tears by the support of the crowd on Senior Day.


Leading the charge for Missouri Southern’s men’s basketball team this year are Jason Adams and Keane Thomann, players destined to finish on some post-season award lists. Last year’s leader, though, was Skyler Bowlin.

Bowlin, a May 2011 graduate, is now the starting point guard for the BG Leitershofen/Stadtbergen Red Kangaroos of the German Pro A league. After all his success in college, Bowlin has experienced a tough first season as a professional player on the court.

“My team was in the Pro B last year and we moved up to the Pro A, which is a big jump, so we’ve taken our share of losses already,” Bowlin said. “We’re beginning to play better and [as] more of a team the past couple of games, but we still have a ways to go.”

In his first season as a pro, Bowlin has averaged just over 11 points per game, but that hasn’t been enough to consistently put his team in the win column. The team has continued to experience growing pains from moving up into a higher league, winning only one game so far this season.

Off the court, Bowlin said his time in Germany has already proven to be a life-changing experience.

“It was definitely a culture shock,” he said. “Thankfully everyone on my team can speak pretty good English. I really struggled my first couple of weeks here with the jet lag and being away from family.”

Recently, the former Lion got an opportunity to visit several historical landmarks, including Dachau concentration camp. Bowlin called it a humbling experience.

“To go where so many people were murdered and treated the way they were and see how they lived was unbelievable,” he said.

Bowlin’s next adventure, however, might be his favorite. He’ll arrive in Memphis on Christmas Eve to see his family. He’ll only be in the United States until Jan. 2, but he’s excited for the time he’ll have back on American soil.

One of his planned trips will be to Joplin for the Lions’ game with Pittsburg State on Dec. 30, and Head Coach Robert Corn is glad to have him back, even as a visitor.

“He’ll be up here for a few days; we’ll definitely plan on getting together,” Corn said.

Bowlin said he’s proud of his former teammates and can’t wait to see them all again.

“Anytime he wants to sit on that bench, he’s welcome,” Corn said.