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August 18, 2013
When Jakeenan Gant and his mother left Springfield, Ga. for his official visit to Missouri on Friday morning, he had every intention of returning on Sunday evening with his college decision still in front of him.
"I didn't have a feeling he was going to make a decision," said Kenia Bowman, Gant's mother. "We spoke briefly about it and everything just fit so well. He just went ahead and did it. I am very happy for him."
Gant, the nation's No. 44 player in the Class of 2014, claims offers from the likes of Syracuse, Indiana, Marquette and Florida among his 15 scholarships. The recruiting process wasn't just about winning over Gant, but also winning over Bowman.
"It wasn't easy," Bowman said. "I was very resistant at first.
"I just put up that guard with most coaches. Women, we can be very emotional. I tried not to get emotionally connected. With most coaches, I just put up that guard."
But Tim Fuller and Frank Haith were able to ease any of Bowman's concerns during the visit.
"This was my first time meeting coach Haith. Coach Fuller and I had had a couple of phone conversations," Bowman said. "That bond, it was just instant."
Gant had previously mentioned Miami and Alabama as schools that were going to get visits from him. That looks unlikely in the wake of Sunday's commitment.
"I'm just going to follow J's lead on that," Bowman said. "But I don't think he needs to visit anywhere else."
Mom, meanwhile, has some business of her own to take care of.
"I can't wait to find some gold and black clothes," Bowman said. "The most important thing I want everyone to know is that it felt like home. Everything just felt genuine and real."