Natural born leader
Story by Josh House • Staff Reporter
Photos by Jon Shapley • Video Editor
Trey Gowan knows exactly what he wants — to be a leader on and off the basketball court — and he’s doing everything in his power to make it happen.
Gowan hones his leadership skills at Austin Community College as a member of the Student Government Association (SGA) He represents and works on behalf of his fellow students as the Rio Grande Campus senator.
SGA Vice President Carlos Charles said Gowan shown leadership through service by volunteering to organize and run an upcoming charity event that involves collecting socks for the needy.
“He said, ‘I want to collect socks. I’ll handle the business and all that stuff. ”’ Charles said as he recalled his conversation with Gowan. “He’s always making sure he gets school work done, [too]. “[He’s] actually being a physical leader as well; leading by example.”
Gowan’s affinity for leadership is also reflected in his passion for basketball.
“I really want to walk on at the University of Texas (UT) and be a leader on the basketball team … and wear burnt orange,” he said.
Gowan didn’t say he wanted to make a name for himself by putting up big numbers or getting highlight reels. He said his goal is first and foremost to become a leader. This line of thought is reflected in his choice of role models.
Gowan said he looks up to professional basketball players Larry Bird and Tim Duncan. The two players are known not only for their production on the court, but for their tough mentalities and “no-diva” attitudes.
Although Gowan is inspired by Bird and Duncan, his goal of playing Division I basketball began when he was a child and was shaped by his mother, Michelle Kirby, who played basketball in high school and went on to play Division I at Clemson University on a full scholarship.
Gowan credits his mother with giving him his start in basketball.
“I started playing when I was really young. My mom used to put me outside with the dirt and the ball,” he said.
Mother and son spent hours on the court together and were very competitive. “In eighth grade Trey was about the same height as me — 6 feet 1. By the time he was in 10th grade he was 6 feet 7 and started dunking on me,” Kirby said. “Trey has a really big heart and when he does something, he does it will full thrust.”
Kirby said her son is training hard to prepare for the UT tryouts, a process that Gowan admitted would be challenging. However, he said he’s definitely up for the challenge.
Gowan said his training regimen includes bulking up on a protein-heavy diet, working hard at practice and training at the gym four times a day and said he believes that hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.
Chris Braden, manager of the Train 4 The Game fitness center where Gowan works out, said that Gowan works his butt off and trains hard and diligently.
As Gowan focuses on physical preparation, he still remains dedicated to his studies and and responsibilities to SGA. He said he’s focused on being successful on and off the court.
“I’m just putting in my all and going hard all day,” he said. “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.”
Discipline and leadership are traits that Gowan said he developed while in the Air Force.
“I know it takes a lot of hard work,” he said, “and if I keep it up, I think I got a real shot at it.”