Walking the halls of a new high school led to some nervous moments for Kegan Owen at the beginning of the school year.
Yet it’s Owen, a senior guard for the Greenwood Christian Academy boys basketball team, who is counted on to be a calming influence for a Cougars squad made up primarily of underclassmen.
GCA holds a 3-4 record entering the annual Monrovia tournament scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
“It started when my parents got divorced at the end of my junior year. Both my parents brought up to me and both my brothers that they would be open to us switching schools,” said the 6-foot-1 Owen, who previously attended Roncalli and was mainly a backup for a 17-9 Rebels squad as a junior.
“We all looked into different schools and decided emotionally, mentally and spiritually the best place for me to be is Greenwood Christian.”
Jasen and Dawn Owen’s middle child, Justus, is a sophomore at Roncalli; Jude Owen, 10, is a fourth-grader at GCA.
The boys’ father resides in Greenwood, while their mother lives in Indianapolis.
Owen’s adjustment process began as a member of the Cougars’ cross-country program. He flourished in his new environment, finishing 20th at the Franklin Sectional and 31st at the Shelbyville Regional.
Only four seconds separated Owen from making it to semistate.
“When I decided I was going to GCA, I already had some (cross-country) practices in before school started,” Owen said. “To see so many new faces was nerve-wracking, but everyone was very nice to me.
“The thing that stands out to me most about Greenwood Christian are how open the kids are. You have a personal relationship with almost every kid. Another is the way I can interact with my faith and how many people have been open to talking about it with me.”
Capable of running the point or playing the 2, Owen leads the team in points (17.5), rebounds (6.5) and assists (4.5) per game. He is one of two seniors on the Cougars’ roster along with 5-11 shooting guard Cayden Bauschek.
As much as Owen loved his three years at Roncalli and misses the friends he left behind, the senior’s maturity and perpetually upbeat persona are a welcome addition to what first-year Cougars coach Jonny Marlin is trying to implement.
“The most valuable part about Kegan is just his leadership. It’s been fun to coach and something we definitely needed,” Marlin said. “From Day 1, his teammates embraced him. They knew what Kegan was going to bring to the table.”
Owen understands and respects that, even at this point of the season, he’s the new guy. He remains respectful of what teammates like juniors Payton Modlin, Quentin Steele and Cooper Britt accomplished prior to his arrival.
“I was taught that communication is everything. I realize how far leadership can take you with people and like having that positive energy,” he said. “It’s what gets our team going, whether it’s me or Payton or Q or Cooper. “Rarely will you catch us with bad energy.”
Not as long as No. 30 is running the point.
Name: Kegan Owen
Family: Parents Jasen and Dawn; brothers Justus, 15, and Jude, 10
Favorite TV show: “SportsCenter”
Favorite food: Grilled chicken
Favorite movie: “Rudy”
Favorite athlete: Stephen Curry
Favorite team: Duke University men’s basketball