Basketball: Cyclones' Shanavia Dowdell.
Basketball: Cyclones' Shanavia Dowdell. Allan Reinikka ROK090617acyclone

Star import back for another season with Cyclones

BASKETBALL: Championship super star Shanavia Dowdell is back for another season with the Frenchville Sports Club Cyclones - and coach Chris Muggeridge couldn't be happier.

"Shanavia's the best import in the league, full stop,” Muggeridge said.

"She's played in the WNBA, is a WNBL All-Star five player, a finals MVP in our last championship and, most importantly, she's loved by her teammates and the community alike.

"That type of person is just invaluable.”

Dowdell averaged 22 points and 10 rebounds a game last year before going down mid-season with a knee injury.

She said the off-season has been one of her most challenging as she worked to overcome the first major injury of her life.

"The first month was pretty hard, however I just told myself that I couldn't afford to sit around and mope and got to work,” she said.

The break from playing also gave Dowdell an opportunity to explore another side of the game and she has been coaching some teams in the US.

From the moment she was injured, Dowdell focused on getting back on court.

The rehab has been gruelling, with four to five workouts each week, but has been helped along by Simon Poole, from Movement Improvement, who has monitored her progress via fortnightly Skype catch-ups.

"Shanavia is an incredible athlete,” Poole said.

"We give her a new movement pattern as part of her rehab and she picks it up and integrates it instantly. Her progress is already well ahead of schedule.”

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