Bogan will give college hoops a third try at Highland C.C.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Will Bogan has found another school where he will try to revive his athletic and academic career.

Ronnie Dean hopes Bogan takes full advantage.

Dean, an assistant basketball coach at Highland (Ill.) Community College and a former Southeast Missouri State assistant, said Monday that Bogan has enrolled at Highland for the second semester.

Dean said Bogan is scheduled to begin classes at the junior college in Freeport, Ill., today. Freeport is located about 115 miles west of Chicago.

The 6-foot-10 Bogan, a former standout at Bell City High School who played his freshman season at Southeast in 2007-08, won't be eligible to play at Highland this season, although he can practice with the team.

If Bogan meets academic requirements the remainder of this school year, Dean said he will be able to play for the Cougars next season in his final year of junior college eligibility.

"If Will gets his academics together this semester, he'll be one of the most highly recruited junior college players in the nation next year," Dean said.

Dean, a Charleston native, is in his first season at Highland after spending the previous four seasons at Southeast, including Bogan's freshman campaign.

Dean said he met with Bogan -- who also grew up in Charleston and has been living there -- over the holidays last month.

"He came to my mom's house in Charleston Christmas Day and we talked," Dean said. "He seemed serious about wanting another chance.

"I told him he had to take it seriously and get his act together. In Will's heart, he's a great kid. If he didn't have a good heart, I wouldn't be doing this. I want to give him another opportunity."

Highland will be Bogan's third school in less than a year.

After leaving Southeast following his freshman season, Bogan enrolled at Shawnee (Ill.) Community College over the summer and began the semester attending classes at the junior college in Ullin, Ill.

But Bogan left Shawnee shortly before the Saints began practice Oct. 1.

"This is Will's third chance," Dean said. "I told him he can't mess up. I think he knows he has to take it seriously."

Bogan averaged seven points and 3.7 rebounds per game for Southeast while hitting a team-high 56.6 percent of his field-goal attempts last year. He made three starts and averaged 15.4 minutes per contest.

It was announced in May that Bogan would not be eligible academically to play for the Redhawks during the first semester of this season.

Sources told the Southeast Missourian that Bogan did not have his scholarship renewed by the Redhawks in the summer, after which he decided to leave the university.

Highland, a perennially successful junior college program under veteran coach Pete Norman, is off to a 12-2 start.

Dean said three of Highland's players already have signed with Division I programs, while three more are likely to sign in the spring.

Dean hopes Bogan, who following next year would have two seasons of eligibility remaining at a four-year program, joins that list.

"I've heard from [Division I] coaches already about Will," Dean said. "If Will takes care of his academics, there's no question he'll play Division I basketball again."

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