Already an established Scotland internationalist, and included in Great Britain's under-20 squad, the guard was on the radar of university recruiters in the United States.
It was what Bunyan had worked diligently towards, having risen through the junior ranks at Falkirk Fury where his father, John, was head coach. Instead, he eschewed the trans-Atlantic path and opted for the road less travelled in the British Basketball League, following in the footsteps of his elder brother Keith by joining Glasgow Rocks.
His second season with the club begins tonight with a trip to Newcastle Eagles and, despite the prospect of another year battling with imported players for time on the court, Bunyan has no regrets about his choice. "I do think about it a lot," said the 20-year-old. "But I've enjoyed being with the Rocks even more than I thought I would.
"It's not just because I'm now on a professional deal. It's great people, a great set-up and I get the chance to practice every day. I do think it would have been a different career path if I'd gone to the States, different opportunities would have come out of it. But I'm comfortable with my decision."
As the BBL permits only five overseas players this season, opportunities for homespun talent should rise. While the relatively low budget of the league still leads the best British talent to stray overseas, it provides the likes of Bunyan and his Rocks team-mate Gareth Murray with a chance to rise above the fray. Building a reputation from within Scotland has not always been easy, though.
"Because the leagues in England are so much more advanced, we have to stand out and be above them to get a look in. You could say that's unfair but I like that," said Bunyan.
It has been 10 years since the Rocks achieved the exalted status of trophy winners. With their impending move into the new Commonwealth Arena, there is a greater impetus to join the ranks of the presumed challengers to Newcastle, who will be defending all four domestic prizes. Although the summer arrival Donald Robinson has made a positive impression, Sterling Davis, Rocks' player-coach, will go to Tyneside short-handed after dropping US recruit Meneptha Darden yesterday.
It illustrates, perhaps, a renewed urgency to rise back among the elite. "Until we win, there will be pressure to win," Bunyan said. "I like the steps we've taken and I think this can be the start of something good."
Manchester Giants return to the BBL after a 10-year absence when they host London Lions. Leicester, who have retained the services of Great Britain captain Drew Sullivan, visit Sheffield.