Popular import plays last home game for the Cyclones
BASKETBALL: The Hegvold Stadium faithful farewelled one of their favourites on Saturday night when star import Shanavia Dowdell played her last home game for the Rockhampton Cyclones.
Sadly, the affable American did not get the fairytale farewell, forced from the court in the first quarter when she twinged her hamstring.
The Cyclones were beaten 93-87 by the South West Metro Pirates, the same team they will meet in the opening round of the play-offs next weekend.
Dowdell is bound for France after she completes the finals campaign with the Cyclones.
The champion centre has played five seasons with Rockhampton, winning the league MVP title in 2013 and a championship in 2016.
She said the decision to leave was a tough one.
"Rockhampton has been my home away from home for five seasons,” she said.
"I've built bonds with people here, friendships with people here and I would consider them my family.
"When I first came to Rockhampton I really didn't expect it to make the impact on me that it did.
"I just kept coming back because I love it here and the people are amazing.”
Coach Chris Muggeridge said it was sad to farewell a player of Dowdell's calibre.
"She's a fantastic person and an amazing player,” he said.
"Hopefully we can get a championship win to send her off.”