PIEDMONT, S.C. (WSPA) – Bryce McGowens has made a name for himself on the basketball court in the Upstate over the past several years. Now he joins a familiar face in Nebraska as he prepares for his freshman season with the Cornhuskers.
“It started at an early age, probably around the age of 4. I’ve always had a basketball in my hand.”
Bryce McGowens grew up around the sport of basketball. He’s learned a lot from his parents, both of whom played at the division one level. His father played football at Clemson before transferring to South Carolina State to play both football and basketball. And his mom played basketball at Western Carolina. It’s in his blood.
But one of his best examples to pull from has been his older brother, Trey, who’s entering his fourth year at Nebraska.
“Growing up it was always fun, because Bryce was always competitive,” said Trey. “He always wanted to be the best ever since he was little.”
“He’s always been one of my biggest inspirations, you know?,” Bryse said. “Always looking up to him being the bigger brother, wanting to do the things that he did. We’ve been competing since we’ve had a basketball in our hand.”
The sibling bond was a big motivator for Bryce, as the five-star guard out of Legacy Early College chose to play alongside Trey for the Cornhuskers. It’ll be the first time in nearly a decade that the two will compete in the same jersey.
“Being able to play with my brother, it was a big part of it,” Bryce said of the decision to play college ball in Lincoln. “Not being able to play with him when we got older and having the opportunity to, it was major.”
“I remember my coach, Matt, had told me that [Bryce] committed before practice,” Trey recalled. “And I was just extremely excited. I couldn’t stop smiling the whole practice. It’s just a dream come true, honestly.”
Bryce is Nebraska’s first ever 5-star signee, a title he cultivated over years of work, especially with his coach Michael Johnson at D 1 Training in Piedmont. His improvement was noticed by several major college programs and his play earned him the 2020-21 Gatorade South Carolina Basketball Player of the Year award.
“It helped me build confidence in my body and helped me with being more athletic,” said Bryce. “It’s just a great feeling to see that all the hard work has paid off.”
“Bryce would text me at 5:30/6 o’clock in the morning ready to work before school,” said Johnson. “A lot of kids aren’t doing that. Then he’s ready to come back for double duty at the end. So I think his work ethic separated him from everybody.”
And as Bryce prepares to put that training to the test with his brother in the Big Ten, Johnson says the two will be a force to be reckoned with.
“Man, that’s going to be a dynamic duo. With Trey running the one and Bryce running the two, that’s the best back court, to me, that there’s going to be in the country.”
“I’m super excited to just be able to play with guys that are going to buy in, play together, and be cool off the court,” Bryce added. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Bryce has been in Lincoln already for a couple weeks as he gets ready for his freshman season. Meanwhile Trey has two years of eligibility remaining due to rules the NCAA implemented due to COVID.
And with NBA on the mind, this might not be the last time the duo laces them up together on the court.