SRU Good News for Aug. 4, 2009
SRU assistant basketball coach leads Virgin Island team to bronze
econd-year Slippery Rock University assistant men's basketball coach, has coached the Virgin Islands Under-17 National team to a bronze-medal finish in the Centrobasket Tournament in Mexico.
In the process, Dowling and his players became the first Virgin Islands youth team to earn a berth in the Americas Championship, which will be held in 2010. Previously, the Virgin Islands had been represented in an Americas Championship, which features the 10 best teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean, by only the senior men's team.
A native of the Virgin Islands, Dowling was justifiably proud of his team's success. "It was great, definitely great," Dowling said in an interview with The Virgin Islands Daily News. "My slogan for the team was to 'bring island fever to Mexico,' and that it was a 'we' thing. I kept stressing that and, after the last game, they celebrated and understood they won as a team."
<<p style=" font-size: 12.0pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; margin-right: 0in; margin-top: 0in;"> Dowling and his players finished their effort with an upset win over the Dominican Republic in the bronze medal game. Sandwiched around that win was a win over Nicaragua and a loss to Mexico in the semifinals.
"After the Mexico game, I told them 'In life, you have good days and bad days, and you can't let the bad days continue to affect you,' " Dowling said in The Daily News story. "I told them, 'Look, we still have a chance to make history,' and it really clicked for those guys."
"At halftime ... the guys realized it was right in front of them," Dowling said in the newspaper story. The team then planned its attack.
Winning the bronze medal was gratifying for Dowling and his coaching staff, who had previously been under fire for the makeup of his team: mostly 15- and 16-year-old players, one, 14-year-old and only three, 17-year olds.
Dowling now turns his attention to assisting Kevin Reynolds, second-year Rock head coach in preparation for the 2009-10 season. The Rock is coming off a 2008-09 campaign in which it tripled the previous season's win total with a 21-8 final record and earned its first Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference playoff berth since 2000.
The Rock unofficially opens the 2009-10 season with a Nov. 6 exhibition game at NIT champion Penn State. The official season-opening game is Nov. 15, when SRU entertains Ohio University-Eastern in a 3 p.m. Morrow Field House game.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.
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