Kyle Rowley Impresses In New York City

Reporter Brian Towey profiles a big man who competes at a school in Illinois but who played recently at an event in New York City ...

The West bracket of the Boys Club of New York Holiday Classic is always a good place to spy the occasional sleeper. Last year, we got our first glimpse of 6-foot-10 Temple signee Michael Eric of the Church Farm School. Kyle Rowley of Lake Forest Academy in Lake Forest, Illinois.

Rowley, listed at 7-foot, 280 pounds by his coaches, is a native of Trinidad who came to the States this past summer. He's a sophomore who is relatively new to the game, with only about three years of experience playing organized ball.

"He's had very little experience," said Lake Forest coach Jeff Vaughn. "He attended a private school in Trinidad, and only practiced once a week. This is all new to him."

Despite his limited familiarity with the game, Rowley appears to have a strong upside. He has a large frame, and is a space-eater in the post. He has good hands and feet. He is a good interior passer, and shows a nice touch around the hoop. He does not get a ton of lift, nor does he have particularly good foot speed. But he appears to have some nice tools to work with.

"His biggest thing is athleticism, shedding some baby fat, and getting up and down the floor," said Vaughn. "He's adapted to the (American) game. He understands the game pretty well. He's got a nice touch. He's going to be a real good player down the road.

"His strength right now is his passing. That's something he picked up on pretty quickly. The rest of it will continue to develop as he comes along."

Not many programs have picked up the scent of the Caribbean transplant to date. Florida State contacted Vaughn, as they had seen Rowley on a prior visit to Trinidad. The other school who dialed Vaughn was Illinois, after receiving a tip from a source close to the program.

"One of Illinois' recruits, Jereme Richmond, plays in our league, and Kyle had a really big game against his team," said Vaughn. "Jereme told the coaching staff to go look at him. I got a call from one of their assistant coaches, Tracy Webster."

Rowley is still very much an unknown commodity, according to his coach. He is also a strong student. He likely picked up some new admirers during Lake Forest's weekend in New York, and his progress will be worth monitoring.

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