Emily Bowen ‘plays for dad’ — First Sgt. Travis Bowen

J. Patrick Eaken

Northwood 5-foot-8 senior guard Emily Bowen is blessed to have a lot family surrounding her.

“She is a wonderful kid, and her family that lives here and supports her is also wonderful,” Northwood girls basketball coach Andrew Dickey said. “Her stepdad T.J. (Miller) always helps out with us. He is very supportive of the teams and the programs. They have a really great family — all of them.”

When it comes to Northwood athletics, T.J. Miller does not miss a beat.

“He is involved with Northwood in every aspect of sports,” Emily said. “He runs the Little Rangers football team, and he announces all the games for football and basketball. He is always there.”

Emily’s father, First Sergeant Travis Bowen, is stationed at Fort Polk, a U.S. Army Joint Readiness Training Center, in Central Louisiana and can rarely get to her games. He has been deployed to Kuwait and Iraq and was stationed in South Korea for one year.

“I have always felt bad for ‘Em’ because she sacrifices so much for her family,” Dickey said. “She lives with her stepfather, mother (Sarah Miller) and their three kids. 

“Originally, when I met Emily way back in the day, she was the middle kid always in charge of watching the little ones, helping out and filling in and she still does all of that. Her dad, because he is in the military, she never really got to showcase a lot of her athletic talent that she has to him because he’s always away,” Dickey continued.

“He got to come to a game her sophomore year. He surprised her by coming in, and that just made her day. She got the chance to brag about herself, because she is not the type of person who likes the spotlight but she’s more than deserving of it.

“Last year, she stepped up a lot when (then-junior Ashlyn) Rable went down and we had low numbers. She has always been such a great team player, a wonderful, coachable kid, and I have always felt bad that her dad has never really been able to see that from her.”

At Fort Polk, First Sgt. Bowen is responsible for the training, readiness, health and welfare of more than 90 soldiers and their families.

Fortunately for First Sgt. Bowen, he has been able to watch a couple games this year because of live streams, allowed because the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in limited game attendance. Emily’s older brother Joshua Bowen, a 2019 Northwood graduate and former athlete, is also in the military, and coach Dickey allows Emily to travel to Georgia, where her stepmother and two brothers live, to visit over the holidays. Not every coach will allow that.

“The other thing that I never wanted to take away from her is that she always goes down during Christmas,” Dickey said. “She usually misses a game or two, and she always hates that because she thinks she’s disappointing her team until she comes back, but family comes first. Her family is always the most important thing. Basketball will come and go, but your family is right there for you. You never have to choose between family and basketball — it is always your family.”

Emily says it was refreshing to visit with her father over the holidays. 

“It was good. I had a lot of fun. It was good to see all of them,” Emily said. “One day we went golfing because he loves to golf, so it was something to do, so he and I and my two younger brothers went golfing. We went to a scavenger hunt in downtown Savannah, we ate out a lot and I got to spend a lot of time with them.”

The entire scenario might change within a year. Staff Sgt. Bowen plans to retire on Aug. 31, 2021 with 23 years, two months and 21 days of service.


Boosting the Rangers to victory

Emily returned home from her holiday visit just in time to help Northwood get its first win of the season, 41-25 over Rossford (1-9) on Monday. The Rangers are 1-6 but have not played a Toledo Area Athletic Conference game yet. In 22 minutes on the floor, Bowen had two points, six assists, three deflections and four steals. A defensive zone press forced the Bulldogs into 30 turnovers. The Rangers’ offense was led by 5-10 junior Randi Wilson, who had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

“I think we just moved the ball really well and we really came into the game prepared,” Emily said. “We were all eager to, and the JV was ready too (38-20 Northwood victory) and they did very well. I think it got the monkey off our back and hopefully we can start improving and believing in ourselves more because we have had some tough losses.”

Dickey says Emily’s role is not just about putting points on the board, but she can do that, too.

“She averages a little over two points. It is actually her defense — when we strategize against teams, Emily gets the shaft offensively because we usually have her target the other team’s best player. She’s not always positioning herself to get a lot of points because she’s usually focused on whomever,” Dickey said.

“I remember last year when we played Toledo Christian, we had her always guard the Davis girl (Madison Royal-Davis). She was one of the very few people who kept the Davis girl under her actual average. The first time we played her, before Emily got taken out of the game, she held the Davis girl to under 10 points. I think she scored 18 by the end of the game, but by that time we had pulled Emily off of her. She’s that type of girl,” Dickey continued.

“She leads the team in deflections and she’s second on the team in steals, so she’s just a really hard worker. She’s never been the one who really wants to take that last second shot, even though this year she is shooting a lot more because I think she wants to. This is her last hurrah, and she wants to be effective on the offensive boards, too.”








The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association