Norwalk 2020 point guard Bowen Born showed off every facet of his game during the AAU event Battle at the Lakes. Matthew Bain, firstname.lastname@example.org
Something rare happened Tuesday night: Bowen Born had nothing to do.
In a summer full of live recruiting periods and AAU tournaments, official and unofficial visits, team camps, a youth camp at his high school and work, there hasn't been much time for Norwalk's lefty point guard to just sit. And relax. And think.
But that opportunity finally came Tuesday. And during a 30-minute conversation with the Register, Born opened up on his blossoming recruitment as the all-important July NCAA live periods approach.
Growing Iowa interest, official visits, comparisons to Jordan Bohannon — the 2020 point guard broke it all down, and more.
Northern Iowa official visit: 'Glad that they were my first'
Born currently holds offers from Northern Iowa, Drake, South Dakota, Indiana State, Toledo and Bowling Green.
In all, Born took four visits in June: an official visit to UNI (June 7-9), an official visit to Indiana State (June 28-30) and two unofficial visits to Iowa (June 18, 25). He has no more visits scheduled in July.
UNI gave Born his first offer last May, and he was glad they hosted his first official.
"I felt like it was good to be able to let them do the first official visit. It was just a good experience," he said. "Didn’t really know what to expect, never had been on an official visit before. But I felt like one of the best things was they didn't try to do too much. They just did things like how everyday life is going to be. They didn't try to sell it too much, but obviously they showed the things that they felt strong about.
"I got to hang out with the guys, and obviously I’ve known some of the guys — A.J. Green, Cole Henry, Evan Gauger. A lot of these guys, I’ve been close with. So I think that helps, too."
Indiana State official visit: 'I obviously consider them a lot more now'
Indiana State offered Born after the first live period in late April. He knew very little about the program before taking the trip — but his interest has picked up after learning more.
"I had no idea what to expect, just because I hadn't been there," he said. "I was really impressed with the facilities and their coaching staff and the players. It was just a really good official visit. And I obviously consider them a lot more now after just being there."
There will be a Drake visit, too
Born plans to take more visits in August and the fall — whether official or unofficial. He's considering taking trips to Bowling Green and Toledo, but there is one school he knows he'll visit: Drake.
The Bulldogs gave Born his second offer in August and have prioritized him ever since.
Although he lives about 20 minutes from campus, Born said his Drake visit will most likely be an official visit.
Breaking down the two Iowa unofficial visits
Born's two unofficial visits to Iowa City mostly revolved around open gym sessions with the Hawkeyes' current players. The coaching staff clearly liked what they saw during the first visit, because assistant coach Kirk Speraw invited Born back the following week.
"Both times I’ve felt like I played really well," Born said. "With the feedback I’ve gotten, obviously things have grown (with Iowa) a lot since the end of my junior year — and then especially within these past two weeks. Things have really grown and you can just feel the interest pick up. Obviously, that’s another school that I’m considering.
"I felt like I’ve fit in really well with the guys and was able to play pretty good up there. Obviously, it’s open gym so you don’t want to read too much into it. But, at the same time, I feel like it was beneficial to me to see that I can play at this level.
"I would go back and play every day if I could — just to get better."
Where do things stand with the Hawkeyes?
Iowa has become a team to watch in Born's recruitment.
It showed light interest in him during his junior year, when he averaged 27.8 points and 3.8 assists per game. That interest picked up somewhat during the state tournament, when Born arguably played the best basketball of anyone there from all four classes.
But now, as Born has continued to show that, despite his smaller 5-foot-11 frame, he can compete against anyone on the AAU circuit, the Hawkeyes' interest has steadily grown. They told Born they'll watch him during the July 11-14 live period and during the new July 23-28 NCAA youth development camp in Illinois.
"The talks have gotten a little more serious," Born said. "Before, it’s been obviously interested — 'Hey, we want you to come up and play,' or, 'Hey, we’re gonna be down and watching.' But just throughout these past two weeks, it’s been more talks of, 'How interested are you in us? We’re interested in you.' Those back-and-forth conversations, and just having more conversations. So we’ll see where it goes."
What is Iowa's message to him?
"They feel like I fit well in the program, they love how I play, they love how I move without the ball," Born said. "They kind of compared it to Jordan Bohannon’s recruitment a little bit, and just the strides that I’ve made throughout this summer, and being able to go up there and play and do well."
Iowa didn't offer Bohannon, a product of Linn-Mar, until August before his senior year.
"The interest level and them kind of picturing me within their program and me picturing being there — obviously that stuff is kind of talked about," Born said.
Other high-majors in the mix?
Minnesota told Born it'll keep an eye on him in July. Boston College tracked him in April and could be on the sidelines this month. Creighton continues to show interest, as well.
The Blue Jays have been on Born's radar for a while. They visited him at Norwalk on May 2, and he has visited campus twice this year. They wanted to host him for another unofficial visit in June, but it didn't work out with Born's schedule.
The plan for this summer/next fall
After July recruiting is over, Born knows he wants to visit Drake. As mentioned earlier, he's also considering trips to Bowling Green and Toledo. And, obviously, if new schools offer, he may want to visit them, as well.
So, when might he make a decision?
"As of now, I’ll probably decide before basketball season," Born said. "Obviously, if I feel like I know before then, I’m not going to wait and push it back just for kicks. I’d like to be able to just focus on the year and be committed to a school."
Matthew Bain covers recruiting, Iowa/Iowa State athletics and Drake basketball for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.