For any high school athlete that is being recruited by a school, the feeling of being wanted is key. For former Heritage Christian Academy standout Gavin Fowler, Welch College wanted him more than anyone else.
Fowler signed his letter of intent in front of friends and family Wednesday at HCA with his new coach by his side.
"That was where I was the biggest priority," he said.
Welch is in Gallatin, Tennessee, and plays in the National Christian College Athletic Association.
On the current Flame roster, head coach Greg Fawbush has a standout player in Luke Charlton. He said Fowler is the kind of player that can learn from Charlton this season and be a leader in his sophomore year.
"I'm excited and I'm obviously still nervous but I'll continue to work and develop," he said of being a leader so early in his career.
Fowler said he'd been looking forward to Wednesday for a long time. He said it was always in the back of his mind that this day would come, but it was a couple of years ago when the dream really hit him.
"I thought about it when I was little," he said. "It started to become real my junior year where I started to really take my game to the next level."
The future Flame said it was a former HCA and Hopkinsville coach that made him believe he could get to where he wanted to be.
"I think I was just lacking the confidence," he said. "Coach (Darryl) Hallmark gave me all the confidence I needed to be a basketball player."
The court wasn't the only place Fowler found himself when he was growing up, as he also played baseball.
But the field wasn't exciting enough for the explosive guard.
"I was always better at baseball, but I don't think it was fun enough more," he said. "I like up-tempo, back-and-forth, I just enjoy it more than baseball."
Fowler said the struggles he and his teammates faced early in his career is what made the last couple of years so special.
"The last two years were definitely fun but I don't think it'd be near as fun if it weren't for the first two-to-three years when we were all being counted out," he said. "We had 13 seniors, eight or nine of them, we were freshmen and getting destroyed."
For any young athlete, support from parents is important and Fowler's mom, Casey Fowler-Daniel, has been that person for him and his siblings.
He said he wouldn't be where he is without her.
"She's been the biggest support system for me, my brother and my little sister," he said. "She's sacrificed a lot for us."
Fowler came to Heritage Christian Academy in seventh grade and, at first, he was not thrilled with the decision.
"I didn't really want to come here when I first did," he said. "But I'm glad I did. People are closer here; you really get to know everybody."
Reach Tyler Dixon at 270-887-3260 or email@example.com.