By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
Ken-Jah Bosley and Quan Taylor were both key performers as Madison Central claimed its first-ever Sweet 16 title earlier this year.
Now, the Madison Central seniors are heading to college programs with a long history of championships.
On Monday, Bosley signed a national letter of intent to play for Kentucky Wesleyan and Taylor signed with Georgetown College.
“You are talking about two quality programs,” Central coach Allen Feldhaus said. “That’s arguable the best NAIA program (Georgetown) and the best Division II program (Kentucky Wesleyan) in the country. You can’t get any better than that. I’m just so excited for them. They are very deserving.”
Taylor and Bosley both signed in a ceremony at the school. The seniors wanted to share the moment with each other.
“It’s real emotional,” Bosley said. “We went through a hard season. We’ve been through the tough times and the good times. This is my brother, basically. I’m happy we are doing it together.”
Bosley and Taylor were drawing interest from a long list of schools.
Bosley had offers from Northwood University and the University of Charleston. He was also being recruited by Wright State, Northern Kentucky and Georgetown College among others.
Ultimately, it was his connection to Happy Osborne that led Bosley to Kentucky Wesleyan.
Osborne started recruiting the Central senior two years ago when he was an assistant coach at Tennessee Tech. Osborne, who spent 15 seasons as the head coach at Georgetown College, called Feldhaus to ask about Bosley’s availability as soon as he took over the program at KWC last month.
“He said, ‘What do I have to do to get Ken-Jah Bosley?,” Feldhaus recalled on Monday.
Bosley and Osborne have developed a close relationship in the past couple of years.
Osborne was the head coach at Montgomery County High School this past season. And when Central defeated Osborne’s team Dec. 7 in Mt. Sterling, Bosley gave his future coach a playful gesture in the final minutes as he stepped to the free throw line.
“I don’t even remember giving him the cut-throat sign,” Bosley said. “He’s always seen the potential in me. I just knew it was the right decision for me. It’s a good basketball town. It’s not too close to Lexington or Louisville, so they are Kentucky Wesleyan fans, which is crazy because I’ve never seen people so passionate about a Division II Team.”
Bosley also had a scholarship offer from Eastern Kentucky University football coach Dean Hood, but the Central senior wanted to stick with basketball.
“I like football. It’s a fun sport,” Bosley said. “I just don’t think it’s for me for four years.”
Bosley averaged 18 points a game last season and jumped into the state-wide spotlight with his performance at the Sweet 16. The senior hit the game-winning three-pointer in the final seconds against Ballard in the championship game.
Feldhaus has always said that he believed Bosley was a Division I talent, but the long-time Central coach said Monday he was very pleased that the senior ended up at Kentucky Wesleyan.
“As long as he is happy, then I’m happy,” Feldhaus said. “I think it’s a good fit for him.”
Kentucky Wesleyan, which is located in Owensboro, has won eight Division II National Championships. The Panthers recently added Illinois transfer Devin Langford and have what is considered to be one of the top recruiting classes in the country set to come in next season.
Bosley was selected to play for the Kentucky All-Star team that will take on the Indiana All-Stars next month in both Louisville and Indianapolis.
Taylor to Georgetown
When Georgetown College coach Chris Briggs came to Madison Central last month to talk to both Ken-Jah Bosley and Quan Taylor he brought with him something special — the school’s 2013 NAIA National Championship Trophy.
“He told me, ‘Don’t you want to help bring this trophy back here in a couple of years?,” Taylor said on Monday.
Taylor answered that question by signing with the NAIA powerhouse on Monday in Richmond.
The 6-foot-4 senior center was drawing interest from junior colleges from all across the country, including Southern Illinois and Brevard, but he wanted to stay close to home.
“I took a couple of visits to Georgetown and I liked it,” Taylor said. “The campus is nice. It’s very mellow. The fan support there is really good. The coaches are really cool.”
Last year’s national title was the second for Georgetown College and the school’s first since 1998.
Taylor helped Madison Middle School win a state title in 2009 and earned playing time as a freshman at Madison Central. After a couple of years of development, the forward became a dominant force on the interior for the Indians.
The senior dazzled crowds with his rim-rattling dunks and was a beast on the boards. Taylor had 24 rebounds in a win over Henry Clay in January.
He had 13 points in the Indians’ win over Wayne County in the first game of the Sweet 16 and then had 16 points in the state title game.
Taylor played mostly in the post in high school, but he will likely take on a different role in college.
“I’m thinking about taking a redshirt,” Taylor said. “I really want to work on my ball-handling skills. I want to become more of a small forward. I want to be a slasher.”
Taylor has a good touch from the outside and certainly has the ability to become a more versatile player.
“He can do it,” Feldhaus said of Taylor moving to small forward. “We just didn’t need him to do that for us.”