Bowen is in Australia with his mother and father and that is helping him adjust to live in a new country but on the court he is learning some tough lessons.

The Kings have already played preseason games in Terrigal, Bendigo and Wantirna South and while such locations may lack glamour, they are giving Bowen priceless minutes.

In the Kings’ loss to Melbourne United in Bendigo, Bowen attempted to drive on two-time Olympian Dave Barlow and bounced off his muscular opponent like he had landed on a trampoline.

But he would bounce back in the contest throwing down a dunk from an alley-oop pass and also pulling up for a jump shot.

“Over the past few weeks I’ve been getting better and better and I’m getting more comfortable but it still has a long way to come and we have a long season ahead,” Bowen said.

“It’s a lot more physical for sure, the majority of practices are just getting up and down and playing which I do like about it.

“Preseason just a little warm-up in the sense of finding my role and getting used to the minutes I’ll be playing and the entire thing.”

Bowen is still building his confidence around the group but he has some keen supporters in NBA championship winner Andrew Bogut and star import Jerome Randle.

“It’s similar to when I went to college,” Bogut said.

“He is in a different country, different food, different kind of culture, driving on a different side of the road. He has a lot to adjust to and he has his parents helping him but that’s an adjustment in itself.

“He has been aggressive [on court] for us. He is a quiet, humble kid but we need to get him out of his shell more and get him talking.

“We heard he was a good kid but you also heard mixed reports with the college thing but he has been sensational.

“He just has to make sure he keeps working hard as there will be games were he doesn’t get big minutes and he has to make sure he doesn’t get down on himself.”

Randle who mentored Ferguson when they were both in Adelaide and he has taken a similar role to Bowen during preseason.

“Jerome is like my big brother, they are all like my big brothers but Jerome has been really helpful for me, he is hands-on and keeps me motivated,” Bowen said.

“Boges has been really helpful too and he played in the NBA, played with and against guys like Kevin Durant and LeBron [James], guys I look up to, so finding that NBA way, that professional way and being so young it’s something to get adjusted to real quick.”

Whether he plays a big role or a modest one with the star-studded Kings, Bowen is expected to use the season to develop himself in anticipation of entering the NBA.

But he will get an unexpected chance to face-off with NBA players when the Kings play the Los Angeles Clippers in Honolulu on October 1 (AEST).

“It’s my main goal to make it to the NBA and I’ll get to play against some of my peers as well in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Sindarius Thornwell – it should be fun and a good test for us,” Bowen said.

“Sindarius, me and Shai have played with each other before but Sindarius is the main guy I got to play against back in South Carolina – he is a really cool guy and a great player.

“This is something I’ve been working for this my whole life and I want to get there one day.”

Off the court Bowen is adjusting to life in Sydney although his heart still beats fast when driving “on the wrong side of the road”.

Just like his first steps into professional basketball, Bowen is embracing the fear and accepting the challenge.

“My dad is mostly my driver over here, when I do it I have to be extra focused,” Bowen admitted.

“Especially if you have to make a right-hand turn from the outside lane when I’m used to doing it from the inside lane. Oh my god it’s scary but it’s cool.”

ESPN and NBA League Pass will show the NBA v NBL preseason games live.


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