When Missouri senior Laurence Bowers was introduced during last Friday's Mizzou Madness, he received a rousing ovation from the crowd, in addition to a rollicking reception from his teammates on the court.
For Bowers, getting on the court for the Black versus Gold scrimmage signaled his complete return from an ACL injury that had sidelined him for more than eighteen months. Afterwards, he talked about what it was like to get back on the court, and what it means to him.
"That was crazy, man! My teammates, you know, I love those guys," said Bowers. "They know what I've been through. A lot of them were here last year. You know, they just couldn't play. But, they got to see behind the scenes, everything that I was doing. As much as it meant for me, I think it meant to them. Mizzou is my home. I love this place. They welcomed me with open arms, and I don't want to disappoint them this year."
Bowers said that he was a little rusty following more than eighteen months without having played in front of people, but he said that he felt good on the court. During the scrimmage, he moved well, and he defended and rebounded the ball well. He said that his shot wasn't falling, but he was just glad to finally be back on the court. He was asked about some of the things that he has worked on during the past few months?
"I've been working on a lot of the aspects of my game," explained the 6'8" 227-pound Bowers. "That was just a ten-minute showing…………………………………….. I've gotten a lot stronger, a lot stronger. My ball handling, I've been working on my ball-handling. I've been working on my outside jumper a lot, and just getting my bounce back."
Bowers is looking forward to getting his final season started. Missouri Head Coach Frank Haith talked about having Bowers back on the court.
"He did well," explained Coach Haith. "He's a unique guy, in terms of his passion for Mizzou. He feels that passion, because he's given so much of himself."