College Basketball: The Bowser twins look to forge their own tracks

The Kayden twins, left, and Cameron Boozer run to the ground as they beat Maine at Peach Jam, the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League in North Augusta, SC in July 2022. The brothers are the sons of former Duke basketball star Carlos Boozer.

The Kayden twins, left, and Cameron Boozer run to the ground as they beat Maine at Peach Jam, the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League in North Augusta, SC in July 2022. The brothers are the sons of former Duke basketball star Carlos Boozer.

clbrown@newsobserver.com

Cameron and Cayden Bowser just celebrated their 15th birthday two weeks ago, but they are speaking wisely after their years of recruiting crucible they are about to fully experience.

The sons of former Duke and 13-year-old NBA veteran Carlos Boozer are already among the most-recruited players in the 2025 class. The duo just completed their first year at Columbus High School in Miami and emerged in the top 25 players in the ESPN .com rankings.

Cameron, who looks like his mother, Cindy, is a 6-foot-8 striker who ranks as the number one. Kayden, who looks more like his dad, is a 6-foot-3 goalkeeper who ranks number 24. They helped lead their Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) team to a 15 and under title at Peach Jam Sunday in North Augusta , South Carolina

“My mom is really the one who really prepared me (for recruiting), and she talked to me about coaches and people trying to contact me and stuff, just making sure everything is legal and qualified and everything,” Cameron said. “I mean, it’s a lot but you just have to try to stop it and try to stay away from the noise and just play your game.”

Player-watching hype is generally reserved for the up-and-coming seniors at Peach Jam, which is spread across six basketball courts in the North Augusta (SC) Riverview Park Activity Center. And there was no shortage of superstar powerhouses and players from the NBA’s best fit including LeBron James’ son, Bronnie; and Carmelo Anthony’s son, Kian. Besides LeBron and Milo, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and Ja Morant also appeared and created quite a bit of chaos from adoring fans.

The Boozer twins weren’t overwhelmed. When their Nightrydas squad faced Cooper Flagg, ranked No. 3 in the class, and Team Maine, their game was taken to the main gym to accommodate the huge crowd.

“This part is new to us, because it didn’t come out until this year,” said Cindy, who met Carlos Boozer while attending NC State. “They’ve kind of flown under the radar before, so it’s our little team since the second grade and nobody really paid attention. It was a little different, but I think they grew up the right way, so they stay humble.”

It certainly helps that their father has gone through everything they are going to experience now. But they are encouraged by their parents, who have been separated since 2014, to forge their own path, and that includes the journey of choosing the next step.

It’s easy to assume the Blue Devils have the upper hand in recruitment given their father’s play in Durham. But that would be wrong.

In Duke’s first year Carlos Bowser in 1999-2000, he played alongside current assistant coach Chris Carwell, who was one of that squad’s seniors. Carwell, Duke coach John Scheer and assistant coach Jay Lucas were seated together to watch the Bowser twins face Flag at Beach Jam. But the twins said they had no previous relationship with the staff.

Duke braintrust.jpeg
Duke men’s basketball coach John Scheer, left, assistant coach Jay Lucas and assistant coach Chris Carwell, right, watch potential recruits play during the Nike Youth Basketball League (EYBL) Peach Jam in North Augusta, South Carolina on Friday, July 22 . CL Brown clbrown@newsobserver.com

“I don’t know them very well,” Cameron said. “But I know the training in general is amazing and the development they talked about, my dad talked about it, my mom talked about it, it’s a real thing. They will really take care of you.”

The twins toured Duke when they were in the fourth grade. At that age, Kayden said it was just a matter of seeing where their dad played and meeting some of his former teammates. They haven’t attended many games at Cameron Indoor Stadium nor have they been indoctrinated into thinking about Duke or bankruptcy.

“I just want to be in a place where I can trust the coach and he trusts my ability,” Kayden said. “It is not a Duke’s lock. I am open to anything.”

So far, every school that has offered scholarships—including Duke, Michigan, Miami, and the state of Florida—has extended the offer to both players. But twins don’t present themselves as a package deal.

They both talk about fitness at the next level and realize that one school may not ultimately be the best place for both games. Cayden said it was “unlikely” that they would play together in college.

“I mean, obviously, it would be great if I could go to the same school as my brother,” Cameron said. “But at the end of the day, we have to look at schools that are a perfect fit for us. So it probably won’t be the same school for us and maybe we have to wait until later on the line.”

This story was originally published July 27, 2022 11:30 a.m.

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CL Brown covers the University of North Carolina News and Observer. Brown has more than two decades of reporting experience including stints as a successful writer at Indiana University and the University of Louisville. After a long stay in the Louisville Courier-Journal, where he won an APSE award, he stopped by ESPN.com, The Athletic and even tried to run his own website, clbrownhoops.com.