In its home-opener on Dec. 2, the Christian Academy girls’ basketball team trailed Holy Cross by a point with just 1.5 seconds left on the clock.
Junior forward China Dow, who had already piled up 32 points and 11 rebounds, curled off a screen and received the inbound pass.
Not wanting to foul, the Cougar defenders backed off, giving the five-foot-nine junior just enough space to take two dribbles, steal a glance at the rim and loft a prayer from four feet behind half-court.
“Nothing but net,” recalled 12-year CAL coach Don Rice. “China believes she can make any shot and she’s proven she can.”
“I went to the locker room still thinking we had lost,” said Dow. “I was in shock.”
CAL won the game, 48-46, thanks to that last-second shot.
After tallying 16 points a game last year as a sophomore, Dow has emerged as one of the state’s premier players this season. Through eight games she has averaged 24.5 points and 10.2 rebounds for a CAL team hoping to challenge top-ranked Manual in the Seventh Region.
On Dec. 16, on the heels of a hectic week of final exams, Dow sat down to talk hoops.
When were you introduced to the game?
At the age of four I just picked up a ball and started dribbling. I got better and better from there and used to play against all of the boys in my neighborhood.
I love the game. Sometimes I miss out on hanging with friends, but I’m doing a positive thing and nobody is going to take me away from it.
Your half-brother, Martez Dow, is a junior guard at IUS and your cousin, Chris Dowe, is a junior guard at Bellarmine. Do you ever get a chance to see them play?
I’ve seen Martez play once this season, but haven’t been able to see Chris yet. I’m pretty close with both of them and every time I see them we talk basketball and give each other advice.
In what ways have you evolved as a player in the last three years?
I score more and I’m under control. If I’m not making my outside shots, I’ll go inside. I make sure I get back on defense and try to get as many assists as I can.
What are CAL’s team goals this season?
Make a miracle happen. We can go to the state tournament if we really try hard. Anything is possible.
How do you like your chances against Manual?
I respect Manual. They’re an aggressive team that plays hard and fast. If we beat Manual that would make my whole year.
Have you received a lot of interest from college coaches?
UK, WKU, Dayton, Xavier and Middle Tennessee have shown interest. Kentucky is close to home and I like Coach (Matthew) Mitchell. I went to Midnight Madness and the UK-UL game earlier this year and liked the experience.
I don’t plan on committing until the end of my junior year or beginning of my senior year.
How did you get the name China?
I was going to be called MiKale, but when I was born I came out looking like a China doll so my momma called me China. I forget names sometimes, but nobody forgets my name because there aren’t many Chinas around.
What are your interests outside of basketball?
All I do is practice, school, sleep and homework. I’m taking college-prep English, Algebra II, U.S. History, and my favorite class: Home Economics.
I do hang out with friends in my neighborhood. I’m a big kid and all of my friends are big kids so we will just sit around and crack jokes and argue. We want to host a radio show.
Any favorite TV shows or movies?
Love and Basketball is my movie and Jersey Shore is my show. I also like Ridiculousness, 106 & Park and MTV Jams, too.
I like Drake a lot. His music helps me think and I listen to it before games and when I’m doing homework.
Contact columnist Chris Cahill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Category: High School Sports Report