- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
John Flowers continues to live the dream on the basketball landscape.
The 2007 St. Mary’s Ryken High School graduate from Waldorf has made the sport a home, currently living on the international circuit in the professional ranks.
In June, the 6-foot-7 athletic forward captured his first-ever championship in professional basketball across the Atlantic Ocean in Bourges, France, finishing with 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists as his JL Bourg team won the French League Pro B men’s basketball title.
Flowers, who attended Thomas Stone for his first two seasons of high school before heading south to St. Mary’s County to play at Ryken, recently re-signed with JL Bourg and will be playing in the Pro A, the top-tier in the French League.
Last season, Flowers sparked his Bourg team to the title in a big way, finishing second on the team in points per game (12.4) and rebounds per game (4.5) as his team finished with a 31-13 record on the season.
Flowers said the experience in the city of Bourg is great, and the fans make him feel right at home.
“I’m really excited to go back to France. It’s a great opportunity,” said Flowers, who flew Friday back to France. “I get to play in the top league this season, and it’s just a blessing. I get to showcase my talent and see where I’m at in the top level.”
From meeting different people to building relationships, Flowers has even learned to speak some French.
“Being out in France has definitely opened up my eyes to different cultures and different things that you learn from different people,” Flowers said. “I learned a language and the different traditions that are over there. It’s fun playing basketball over there, and I love it. The fans are great.”
Since finishing his college career on the hardwood at West Virginia University in 2011, where he helped lead it to the NCAA Division I Final Four as a junior under head coach Bob Huggins, Flowers made a name for himself at the professional level.
Flowers is now in his fourth season in the pros, playing in Japan in his rookie season and currently heading into his third season in France.
While overseas, Flowers keeps his friends, family, mentors and former coaches up to date with what he has been doing on the basketball court by posting videos on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
With thousands of followers not only does he keep many informed of his basketball career, but also of his daily life to keep a special connection with people back home in Southern Maryland and in Morgantown, W.Va., where he spent his college days.
Flowers played in different summer leagues against other pro players in the Washington D.C., area. When he wasn’t playing in games, Flowers was in the gym working on his craft or lifting weights to keep his body in shape.
“It’s good to play against those guys. We have some of the best players in the area, and it feels good to come back and play against that type of talent,” said Flowers, whose older brother Nate Jr., a 2005 Stone graduate, is currently playing professionally in Peru. “Playing in those leagues makes your game real tough.”
Flowers also spent time with his family and caught up with high school and college friends during his time here in the states.
Dave Tallman, the former Ryken head boys basketball coach and athletic director now head coach at Morgantown High School (W.Va.), was an assistant on the staff when Flowers played his junior and senior seasons at Ryken.
“I got to see John quite a bit this summer as we were both living in Morgantown, and he has worked extremely hard this summer,” Tallman said. “He is very excited about playing in the Pro A League. John is a great guy who has the right attitude, and I’m very happy for him and proud of his accomplishments.”
Flowers is still fourth all time in West Virginia school history with 157 blocks. His basketball background includes mother Pam Kelly-Flowers, a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame who was a three-time All-American and a two-time national champion at Louisiana Tech. She still holds that school’s all-time leader in scoring (2,979) and rebounding (1,511).
The Pro A League season kicks off for Flowers and his Bourg squad Sept. 27.
“I’m ready to have another strong season and help lead our team to another championship,” Flowers said.