Cyclones forward Shanavia Dowdell is all smiles after arriving at Rockhampton Airport yesterday.
Cyclones forward Shanavia Dowdell is all smiles after arriving at Rockhampton Airport yesterday. Chris Ison

Cyclones get new recruit

THE arrival of Shanavia Dowdell in Rockhampton yesterday means the Frenchville Sports Club Cyclones are a step closer to having their full season's playing roster together.

Standing at 1.85 metres (6' 1"), Dowdell adds to the firepower the Cyclones already boasts and with Chandrea Jones arriving today the WQBL season is looking good for the Rockhampton team.

Dowdell flew back to Australia after spending time at home in Alabama.

While she has never visited Rockhampton before she knows what to expect in Queensland, having been a part of the WNBL with Townsville Fire.

The American, 24, brings a lot of experience with her.

"I played in Europe first, where I played in France," she said.

However, Dowdell took a liking to Australia and has a preference for playing her basketball here.

"One major difference is the language, probably because I didn't get to speak French," she said, displaying the warm smile that is a part of her charm.

In Townsville she was playing her basketball with Nicole Romeo and she admits it was through her that the possibility of joining the Cyclones was raised.

With the thought planted in Dowdell's mind, the Cyclones followed up to organise the signing.

"Heath (Millar) came up to Townsville one time," she said.

Millar liked what he saw and now Dowdell intends to play her part in the Cyclones and use her strengths to great advantage.

"My strength is rebounding but I'll do my bit for the team at whatever I can," she said.

Dowdell has not played since the end of the WNBL season.

"I worked out at home," she said. "I guess that counts for something."

Dowdell said since she was a child growing up in Alabama she has played basketball and after her spell with the Cyclones will return to Townsville, where she is contracted for another year.

Last year she enjoyed success with the Fire, making it to the semi-finals.

"Nobody expected us to finish as high as we finished," she said.

Millar knows exactly what Dowdell is bringing to the Cyclones.

"She's athletic and a good rebounder," he said.

However, it the personal characteristics of the player that impressed the coach.

"Most of all it is the positives she comes with," he said.

"I liked the way everybody I spoke to could vouch for her character.

"Everybody was willing to give her a good reference."

Now the paperwork must be completed before May 5 so Dowdell and Jones can play in the trial match against Mackay.

In the meantime she will be meeting teammates and preparing for the season.



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