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Former NBA Standout Bruce Bowen Motivates at Boys Town Booster Banquet

Former San Antonio Spur and NBA standout Bruce Bowen left the audience of nearly 1,500 Boys Town supporters and kids feeling motivated and encouraged at the 52nd annual Booster Banquet held April 30 at the Embassy Suites LaVista Conference Center.

Bowen spoke to how he has used the first 3 letters of his last name, B.O.W., as a motivator throughout his life. The letters are an acronym for "Being Optimistic Wins." He says, no matter the obstacle, you can overcome it and be successful as long as you have the right attitude.

Even though Bowen grew up in a broken home and his professional basketball career had a slow start, he persevered and achieved great success. He retired as a three-time NBA champion with the Spurs and established himself as a defensive standout.

His message "Be comfortable with who you are and remember the discipline that's allowed you to be who you are today" resonated with Boys Town youth, who often come from difficult backgrounds. Once here, Boys Town professionals work with these boys and girls to rebuild their trust and provide an opportunity for them to learn the life lessons many take for granted. Team sports are an integral part of this care.

For many youth, Boys Town athletics is their first opportunity to participate in any kind of organized sport. Boys Town coaches focus on the team sport experience building character, not emphasizing the final outcome of the game.

The annual Booster Banquet honors Boys Town student-athletes for their outstanding accomplishments throughout the season. Romeo was named Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year and Katie was named Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year, respectively, for their tremendous commitment to Boys Town athletics. Shiann and Javin received the female and male Competing with Character awards.

Five Boys Town alumni also were recognized for their athletic achievements with their induction into the Boys Town Sports Hall of Fame. Raymond L. Keele (1959), Gary G. Hodge (1961), and James F. McGovern (1959) were inducted posthumously, while James R. Rhudy (1961), and David L. Aaron (1968) are living inductees.

The Boys Town Boosters were formed more than 50 years ago to ensure that any child who is at Boys Town has the opportunity to play sports. Every year, the Booster Banquet brings Boys Town and the Omaha community together to recognize Boys Town's student-athletes and raise funds for sports equipment, uniforms and other necessities. This support of Boys Town athletics guarantees youth have an outlet where they can have fun and learn valuable life lessons. 

The 2020 Boys Town Booster Banquet is scheduled for Tuesday, April 28. If you are interested in learning more about the Boosters or would like to join, please email Herb Hames at