Billy Owens, Carlisle’s all-time leading scorer in basketball who led the Thundering Herd to a record four straight PIAA championships in the 1980s, recently did an interview with Raw Sports Films.
He was featured as part of Raw Sports Films’ “Legends Week” on YouTube. The Carlisle legend, who went on to star at Syracuse and later played for nearly a decade in the NBA, talked about his younger years, the players he faced and more with Mike “Big Star” Starling.
Among some of the intriguing nuggets Starling pulled out of Owens included his favorite cartoon growing up (“Spider-Man”), the players he looked up to (Magic Johnson, George Gervin, Julius Erving) and that Owens used to cut his teammates’ hair.
Among the most entertaining exchanges was when Owens talked about his recruiting. North Carolina, Syracuse and Villanova were his top three choices. Syracuse’s biggest draw was that Owens’ brother, Michael, was a running back with the Orangemen and one year older.
But UNC came on strong. Two days after the finale of the 10-part documentary ‘The Last Dance’ aired on ESPN, Owens shared a story about talking with Michael Jordan on the phone during a recruiting pitch.
“People don’t realize I had Michael Jordan, James Worthy, Sam Perkins calling me when I was in 11th grade,” Owens said in the interview.
Owens said he got home from school and his dad flagged him down, saying Jordan was on the phone looking to talk to him. When Owens answered, Jordan asked a couple questions about what schools Owens was considering, what he thought and so on.
“’I said, man, I don’t know right now but I gotta go,’” Owens said. “’Cause it was nice out and they was playing in the park, and I didn’t wanna miss the game.”
He later said the NBA team he most enjoyed playing on was Golden State.
Owens told The Sentinel in March he was scheduled to return to Giant Center for the PIAA championships this year as part of the PIAA’s celebration of 100 years of state championships before the coronavirus pandemic shut down all high school sports.
Raw Sports’ “Legends Week” also featured Maryland’s Maurice Howard, University City’s Rasheed Brokenborough, Norriston’s Marques Green and Simon Gratz’s Jarett Kearse.
Email Jake Adams at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @jakeadams520
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