Canon-McMillan High School boys basketball player Jason Fowlkes was not holding his cards close to his chest.
He was just trying to get as many schools interested after not cracking the starting lineup at C-M until his senior season. Fowlkes wanted to wait until his entire season, including all-star games, was completed before choosing a college.
“I just wanted to have all my options on the table and didn’t want to make a decision too soon,” Fowlkes said.
The senior guard arrived at his final decision Thursday afternoon by committing to play at Slippery Rock University. The coaches at The Rock did not see him play in a game until he scored 47 points in the opening game of the 43rd Annual Pennsylvania vs. Maryland All-Star weekend in Harrisburg earlier this month.
“It worked out perfectly,” Fowlkes said. “I went to visit campus and felt that I fit in great there. The first time (at Slippery Rock) they showed me a highlight tape. They play somewhat similar to how we do at Canon-Mac.”
Fowlkes, who averaged 17.3 points per game and was named the Observer-Reporter Boys Basketball Player of the Year this season, narrowed his list of colleges to Clarion, Saint Vincent and Waynesburg. Throughout most of the regular season, schools from the Presidents’ Athletic Conference were represented in full force at Big Macs games.
Fowlkes’ 26-year-old brother, Taud, played football and ran track at Slippery Rock.
“I saw potential in Jason when he was in middle school,” said Canon-McMillan boys basketball coach Rick Bell.
“It was just about if he was going to be willing to work, commit and be dedicated to maximizing that potential. That’s the exciting thing about him. I don’t think he is close to maxing out to what he can be.”
Fowlkes also said that Slippery Rock provided him the best path to becoming a physicians assistant, separating itself from the other contending schools.
“That’s going to be a great correlation for him,” Bell said about Fowlkes being used to working his way into appearing in the starting lineup.
“He wasn’t handed anything at Canon-Mac. None of our players are. Nobody is going to hand them everything. But it’s the continuation of a great story. If he continues to work, I don’t think that the story is over.”