Athlete of the week: Versatile senior helps propel Lawrence North basketball team


Lawrence North High School basketball coach Chris Giffin views versatility as senior player Kobi Bowles’ biggest strength.

“He can play and/or guard four positions,” Giffin said. “He is an excellent ball handler and makes great decisions with the ball and is a highly efficient scorer.”

In addition, Giffin said Bowles is a very good defender.

“He has made great improvements on his poise and calmness during games,” Giffin said.

Bowles agreed with his coach.

Prior to Jan. 9 action, the 6-foot-2 Bowles was averaging 13.2 points and 2.7 assists per game. Bowles, in his third year as starter, averaged 14 points per game and four assists as a junior.

 “I’ve made the most improvement in my shooting and my overall strength,” Bowles said. “I put on some muscle this offseason to have an edge on my opponents and to make me more versatile on defense being able to guard positions one through four.” 

Bowles is part of one of the state’s better backcourts with junior Azavier Robinson, who averages nearly 20 points ppg. Robinson has several major college offers, including in-state programs Indiana University, University of Notre Dame and Butler University. 

“It’s been amazing playing with Azavier,” Bowles said.

Bowles said he and Robinson respected each other as opponents in youth league competition.

“We had some really great battles when we were younger,” Bowles said. “He’s always been a relentless player on both ends of the court, like myself, so having to match up against him (in practice) I believe makes us better each time. We push each other every day in practice, and I feel the whole state is seeing a reflection of that through our 10-0 record.”

Bowles said the team has improved in all areas.

“Adding (6-foot-8) Kai (McGrew) and also having (6-foot-7) Brennan (Miller) down low with him has been a blessing for us knowing how good our guard play is,” he said. “We are still figuring out a lot and adjusting to each other, but as time goes on, we will become better.”

Bowles said he plans to play in college.

“I want to go as far as I can and be a pro, and my recruitment is open at the moment,” he said. “I’m hunting for the Division I level to maximize my potential.”

Bowles said he started out as a football player.

“But basketball was always right up there with it,” he said. “My obsession for basketball overtook mine for football after sixth grade, and I just started focusing only on school and basketball.”

Kobi Bowles can play several positions for Lawrence North. (Photo courtesy of Max Schwering)

Favorite athlete: Kobe Bryant.

Favorite subject: English

Favorite musician: Rio

Favorite movie “Batman: The Dark Knight Rises”