Girls basketball player to watch: Shanavia Dowdell

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Shanavia Dowdell is sick of coming in second.

For the last two years, the Calera Eagles girls basketball team has made impressive runs in the Class 2A state playoffs, making appearances in the Final Four each season.

Both times, however, the Eagles came up short.

And in Dowdell’s final season as an Eagle, she said she feels like this could be the year.

&8220;Hopefully we’ll win state this year.&8221; she said.

There’s no doubt that Shanavia has done her part to deserve a state championship, with an impressive track record last year.

Dowdell averaged 27.2 points and 13 rebounds her junior year at the center position for Calera, and her talent has not gone unnoticed.

Regardless of whether Shanavia finishes her high school career a state champion, the bright young star will have little time to rest as she prepares to play college ball at Louisiana Tech in Ruston, La.

The Bulldogs recruited Dowdell more than two months ago, beating out offers from the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Shanavia said she’s just happy, however, to have the decision behind her.

&8220;I’m glad it’s over with so I can focus on my final season and my grades,&8221; she said.

Dowdell said there is one noticeable problem she saw with Calera teams in the past couple of years

&045; stamina.

It’s a problem she, and most of the Eagles squad, are hoping to remedy this year.

&8220;We’ve really practiced hard this offseason and I’m hoping it will pay off.&8221;