Profile of the Week: Will Owens
Born in Minnesota, raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California, Will Owens is a 22-year-old OU basketball player. Owens experienced a rough childhood but overcame many struggles thanks to his love for sports. His athletic career began with basketball and included soccer and track along the way.
“I was too young to remember when I started playing basketball, but sports are the best memories I have from my childhood,” Owens said.
Owens began playing soccer at the age of seven for four years before he moved to Colorado, cutting his career short because he was unable to find a good team.
His biggest inspiration and supporter is his mom, Barbara Owens.
“My mom for the most part always worked hard for me, and although we didn’t have much, she always made sure I was fine. Her hard work inspires me to also work hard on everything I set my mind on,” he said.
With his relocation to Denver, Owens began running track. However, this did not last too long as he preferred “balling out,” which is one of the main reasons he is attending Ottawa University.
In high school, he attended Adam City High School in Denver. “This school was full of Mexicans, so I really stood out as a 5’10 point-guard black male who knew how to play Basketball,” he said.
An interesting part of Owens' life is that he is the first member of his family to attend college to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Studies.
Owens attended Chandler Gilbert College in Phoenix, AZ. His first two years of college were not as smooth as he wanted. As a student-athlete, Owens struggled with homework and practice as he lacked currency, food and time. There were many days he went without eating while having two practices a day. However, he never lost hope and always continued to work hard knowing his efforts would result in success.
Titus Rice, a close friend of Owens, experienced similar struggles in college as a former student at Chandler Gilbert College. Rice and Owens' friendship goes back to high school as they both made the decision to attend the same colleges.
“Will is my family. We have gone through a lot of struggles but at the end of the day we are always there to push each other as the brothers that we are,” said Rice, laughing at some of the memories they experienced.
Their friendship is as strong as their dream to become professional basketball players. In fact, Owens’s biggest dream is to reach professional level in basketball and be able to support his 76-year-old, strong-willed mother.
For Owens, not everything is about basketball but about making the best out of his life journey. Accomplishing goals and being able to laugh one day about his struggles is what he strives for.
As a young adult, Owens enjoys playing video games, watching TV shows like “Martin” and the “Boondocks,” and watching basketball. Owens is a Lakers fan in the NBA and a Kentucky fan for NCAA Division I College Basketball.
When other students see Owens, they see a charismatic man who is always dancing and laughing. Zach Brown, transfer from Chandler Gilbert College, emphasizes the skill of Owens’ dancing, as he appears to have a dance move for almost every occasion.
As a Sport Studies major, Owens wants to coach collegiate basketball after his athletic journey ceases. Dreams can be big and we have the right to have them but there is one thing we must keep in mind: Dreams remain as dreams if we don’t put effort and work hard towards them. Owens knows this, and that is why -- regardless how hard situations may get in his life -- he always manages to overcome the worst, believing that God will have something better for him.
Lastly, Owens advises, “Believe in God, and believe in his plan. Believe that he has a plan. Follow through and never quit. And never let no one tell you that you can’t because you can do anything you work for.”
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