On Sunday, November 12, at 1:00 p.m. former Bastrop local, Willie Bowie, will be inducted into the Missouri Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.
Mr. Bowie grew up in Bastrop on Elm Street and attended Morehouse High School, which had an exceptional athletics program and produced a number of pro sportsmen. It was here that athletics began to play a big part in his life, and he played both basketball and football. Here, at the start of his high school career, he became inspired to be a coach. “It was coach Payne Montgomery who started me on this path in the ninth grade,” he noted. After graduating, he attended college at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff. Following college, in 1969, he began working in Missouri as Paseo High School's head basketball coach.
Willie believed in the importance of training and discipline. “My goal was to mold individuals into people who could help others develop as I helped them,” he said. Bringing this philosophy into play with his team, he had them ruling the court, leading them for 23 years and helping them win 400 games. Four of his teams made it to the final four and Bowie's 1998 team was the first from Missouri to take home the prize in the Bass-Pro Tournament of Champions. The 1998 team also had three straight years of being unbeaten in the Inner Scholastic League of Kansas City. He was one of the most prominent basketball coaches in Missouri.
Being inducted is a big honor, and Bowie very much appreciates it. It's a long process with a number of candidates and various people voting on the inductees. “I'm glad that someone saw fit to honor me in this way,” he said. “It feels great.”
The induction event will be taking place in Independence, Missouri at the Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center and will include the program and a luncheon. Tickets are $150 and trading cards of the Inductees are included in the purchase.