Blake Bowman (18) from Derby is a former pupil at Derby Moor Academy and is currently studying Personal Training at DCG after completing a two-year Sports Science study programme.
He is a member of DCG’s academy partnership programme with Derby Trailblazers basketball team which enables DCG students to combine basketball coaching and competitive sports whilst studying to enhance their career prospects.
Having been in talks with several top American universities, he has opted for University of Missouri - Kansas City early in the recruitment programme.
He now plans to concentrate on his college studies and basketball career in Derby as a Forward for the Derby Trailblazers before moving to the USA in summer 2021.
Blake, who is 6ft 5 inches tall, followed in the footsteps of his father and uncle and started playing basketball at an early age.
His career has since blossomed with highlights including winning the 2019/20 Elite Academy Basketball League Most Valuable Player award and being selected for the GB U18 squad for their international tournament in France last year.
He said: “My family have been involved in basketball for many years and I have come through the Derby Trailblazers junior programme.
“My coaches put me forward for scholarships at various universities but I opted for the University of Missouri - Kansas City because they appear to be the most supportive and were really interested in me. It is a great university with an incredible basketball set up.
“I am planning to study Sports Psychology whilst at university and, after graduating, I hope to make it as a professional basketball player either in the US or Europe.
“It is a scary prospect moving so far away from home but I know this is a fantastic opportunity and I feel a lot happier now that I have made my decision.”
DCG Sport and Protected Services team manager Nick Ramsden added: “We have supported several students over the years realise their dream of winning scholarship places at American universities for a range of sports including football and basketball.
“Blake is an astounding player, a great student and a thoroughly nice young man. I know that Blake has a bright future ahead of him and we will be following his progress with great interest.”
Derby Trailblazers Academy head coach Matthew Shaw concluded: “I’m just delighted for Blake. He’s improved dramatically while he’s been at Derby College and that’s in large part down to the effort and dedication he’s shown.
“Blake is really suited to the American system, he’s a good student which is always important and I think he’ll be able to handle the intensity and pace of the NCAA. I think the coaches there have grabbed a real gem.”