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Volume 71, Issue 149, Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Sports

Dowell ready to bring it all back home

Texas transfer returns to Houston area to bring aggressive style to UH men's basketball team

by Chris Elliott
The Daily Cougar

"I've been playing basketball since as long as I can remember" would be the usual response by a player active at the collegiate level when asked how long he has been hooping. 

That is not the case for UH forward Dion Dowell, however.

As a former Texas recruit, Dowell was rated as one of the top 50 players in the nation by Rivals, after coming out of Texas City High School in 2004. 


Junior forward Dion Dowell will team up with Jahmar Thorpe in the 2006-07 season to form one of the best 3-4 duos in Conference USA.

Paul Kim/The Daily Cougar

But when growing up in Europe, basketball usually isn't the first sport a young man picks up.

"I was born in Germany, and I used to play soccer a lot. 

"Then I moved to the United States and I started playing basketball," Dowell, a junior, said. "I love soccer, but I don't play anymore.

"The reason why I stopped playing is because basketball and soccer started at the same time and I had to choose one of the sports, so I chose basketball. 

I was better at it, and I was always the tallest, so I just started playing the game."

As a part of a military family, Dowell was forced to move around frequently, but when he and his mom finally settled in Texas City, he found himself in a position to excel on the court. 

His success landed him in a UT program considered one of the best in the nation at the time among players such standouts as guard Daniel Gibson, forward Mike Williams and Lamarcus Aldridge, now of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Dowell was hampered by ankle and shoulder injuries during his time at Texas. 

By the end of his sophomore year, he was convinced he was ready to transfer. Houston just happened to be the right place.

"I needed a change. I felt like I would have a better opportunity over here. I thought it was the best thing for me," Dowell said.

As a slasher-type forward, Dowell is not afraid to attack the basket, a dynamic the UH men's basketball team lacked last season. 

With the fast paced, up-tempo game the Cougars like to run, his style of play should fit right in.

Just don't ask him why he plays the way he does. 

"I'm just aggressive. I don't know where I got it from; it's just something inside of me," Dowell said.

Send comments to dcsports@mail.uh.edu

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