Next Level Seniors: Jake Owens Fulfills His Goal of Playing Collegiate Basketball Through Commitment to Pacific University


Hailey Reeves

College basketball has always been at the back of senior Jake Owens’ mind ever since he started playing at around the age of five.

John Pham, Staff Reporter

As an overarching goal, college basketball has always been in senior Jake Owens’ mind since he started playing at age five. Basketball has been a big part of Owens’ life, as he has dedicated himself to the sport in middle school, club teams, and at La Salle. 

Now fulfilling that goal, Owens will be heading off to Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon and dedicating himself once again to basketball in college. He is part of a select few seniors at La Salle who have signed to play sports at the collegiate level, students The Falconer showcases in its Next Level Seniors series.

On his official visit, Owens said he felt a good connection between the coaching staff at Pacific University, and liked how close it was to home. “I love the team aspect and having a good brotherhood of it all,” he said. “I think it’s something I really value in [basketball].”

Owens said that when he was younger, he not only looked up to professional basketball players, but also those at La Salle. “When I was younger, [I would] just be in awe of them and it was fun to finally play with them and then end up taking their spot,” Owens said.

A key moment in Owens’ basketball career so far was during his sophomore year when he got the chance to play at Gill Coliseum. It was at Gill Coliseum, at Oregon State University, that Owens realized he was close to achieving his goal of playing basketball in college.

Owens said he made the decision to fully commit to Pacific University about a month ago. When he was weighing his options, Owens said it was stressful, as it was not a guarantee that he would be able to achieve his goal of playing at the collegiate level, since he committed relatively late compared to some of his teammates.

Owens said that these last few months have really weighed on his mind and have been a struggle because the whole recruitment process was full of uncertainty. However, Owens attributes his success to his basketball coach, Sean Kelly. “He asked me how he can help me with recruiting. . . so he helped me a ton with calling, reaching out, emailing, and kind of staying on top of things and that was super nice,” Owens said. “He was a really big help.”

With hopes of earning a starting spot at Pacific University, Owens also said that he just wants to improve as much as possible in order to give himself the best opportunity next year.

When asked what advice he would give to any athlete at La Salle looking forward to competing at the collegiate level, Owens said, “There’s a lot of stuff going on in high school, and a lot of people don’t see that you can do both [school and sports]. Get up early, do the extra steps, lift early, work out early, and really give yourself the best opportunity you can. . . learn to love the grind of it.”