The Bureau Valley Storm basketball family is in mourning, both from its past and present.
On Jan. 26, the Storm lost Jan Monier, mother of BV senior Jordan Monier, after a courageous battle with ALS. She was a staunch supporter of her son’s teams coming up as well, as his three siblings before him.
Last week, the Storm also lost former player Brandon Bowman at the much too young age of 29. He was a member of the Storm’s third-place basketball team.
BV coach Jason Marquis said Monier’s many friends and teammates have helped him play on through this difficult time. They, too, have felt the loss of not only their friend’s mother, but one of their biggest fans.
“Jordan has himself a great group of friends, most of whom are out for basketball,” Marquis said. “I think it’s a tough adjustment not to see her for all the kids because she came to everything. But there is strength in numbers, and we have a close knit group of 17 guys (15 players and two managers) on our varsity group, which no doubt helps.”
Teammate Brian Lange, who has been childhood friends of Jordan, said he’s tried to help him though this difficult time by simply hanging out and playing video games. Brian said Jordan doesn’t show a lot of emotion, but he can sense the pain his friend is enduring.
Lange said it’s shocking to him that Mrs. Monier is gone because “she’s always been there” for the team over the years and watching them play.
“She was a really a good lady,” Lange said.
It was not that much of a surprise to see Jordan play the next night after his mom’s passing, Lange said, because Jordan knew his mom would have wanted him to.
Bowman’s death took the Storm family by shock. He was dear friend and a great teammate, part of the second two, third-place basketball teams as well as the football and baseball teams
Teammate Reuben Slock says the greatest memories he has of Bowman would be the way he would lighten up a room.
“No matter if we were in practice or in class together, he would always have a huge ear to ear smile on his face,” Slock said. “Among many other great qualities Brandon had, his biggest would be he could get along with anyone that came in contact with him. He was one of those guys that would hang out with anyone, no matter if you were an athlete or a regular student.”
I will always remember how the Storm rallied around Bowman that night at the 2001 sectional at Somonauk, when he was viciously body slammed and knocked out by a Stillman Valley player. Brandon later met that opponent face to face and accepted his apology. That was just the kind of guy Brandon was, Slock said.
“After that game he never showed animosity towards the player who did it. He pretty much just shook it off, met up with the kid and reconciled the cheap shot,” said Slock, a sales rep for C.H. Robinson based out of Elk Grove Village.
On Facebook, Nathan Koning said he will always have many, many memories of his fallen teammate.
They all will remember Brandon for his good-natured personality, friendship as well as his talent for music.
Slock said all of his Brandon’s traits will be passed down to his two sons, who happen to look exactly like their father.
Kevin Hieronymus is the BCR Sports Editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org