Rapid City Post 22 shortstop Cooper Bowman surprised some people when he announced on Twitter that he was decommitting from Division I Hawaii and signing with Junior College Iowa Western Saturday night, but according to him one was a better fit than the other.
Bowman said he's been having doubts about playing collegiality in the Aloha state for a few months, but after talking with his coaches on the way back from the Gopher Classic in Minnesota, he decided to make the switch.
"It’s investing in the next few years. It’s really nothing against (Hawaii's) program or coaches or anything like that. After taking some other visits and talking to my coaches, I thought it might not have been the best fit," he said. "We're hoping that after one or two years of a JUCO (junior college) program there may have an option that fits me better."
Iowa Western, located in Council Bluffs, Iowa, has a reputation of baseball success that was also appealing to Bowman. Last season the Reivers went 54-7 and finished sixth in the JUCO World Series.
The program has also won JUCO World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
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"They have the talent, luckily they had a spot for me and took me in on really late notice," he said. "It’s a good place to be if you’re going to go the JUCO route."
Bowman admitted distance had something to do with it as well. Council Bluffs is 521 miles from Rapid City, while Honolulu is a nearly nine hour flight away.
"I got a little cold feet, but mostly it was just investing in my future," he said. "There might be something that’s better for me."
He said the decision was not easy, and something he mulled over for a long time.
"It’s a tough decision. I gave my word and it wasn’t a phone call I wanted to make because I didn’t want them to think it was personal or about the program or their coaches, because it wasn't," he said. "I wished them luck and they wished me luck."