Former coach of K-State’s Markquis Nowell recalls his ‘heart and passion’

Edwin Gonzalez said despite being 5'8, the K-State senior point guard played like he was 6'5, "all the time."
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 7:19 PM CDT
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NEW YORK CITY (KWCH) - “He’s proved people wrong.”

On social media, Markquis Nowell goes by Mr. New York City. The nickname caught on in Kansas where his play has continued to rise. In New York, the nickname goes back even further than his college days. It goes all the way back to his days at Bishop Loughlin High School in Brooklyn.

12 News stopped by Nowell’s old stomping grounds to find who what and -- and who -- molded him into the player he is now.

“If you didn’t know before, he’s putting the world on notice that he can play this game. No matter the size,” said Edwin Gonzalez, the head coach at Bishop Loughlin High School.

Nowell has heard the word ‘undersized his entire career.

“You don’t determine somebody’s, I guess, destiny because of their height,” said Nowell. “You determine it by their heart and their passion.”

Even as a 5′8 16-year-old, Nowell had the same mindset.

“It’s the heart that’s inside of him that makes him a bigger player. You look at him when you go into a gym and think ‘Oh, we’re playing against this guy?’ To me he played like he was 6′5″ all the time,” Gonzalez recalls.

Nowell is now back in his hometown playing for a change at the Elite Eight on the biggest stage in New York. His former head coach knows what to expect.

“If you put him on the stage a couple of more times, he’s going to really show out,” said Gonzalez. “He’s going to really show what he can do. He’s going to make people believers. All that he wanted was the opportunity. The opportunity for him is now, that’s why he’s so focused. He’s not going to let this opportunity go away. He’s not going to go down without a fight.”