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Senior reflects on four years

Faces of ASU Special Edition: Quinishia McDowell

Published: Monday, March 11, 2013

Updated: Monday, March 11, 2013 18:03

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Lindsey Blakely, Editor in Chief

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Lindsey Blakely, Editor in Chief

 To say Quinishia McDowell is experienced would be an understatement.

For the last four years, the redshirt senior guard has been the most consistent presence on the court for Arkansas State’s women’s basketball team, playing in 105 straight games dating back to a 77-65 win over North Texas on Jan. 2, 2010.

The streak of games puts her in rare company, as only two other Lady Red Wolves have ever started in more than 100 games in their careers: Adrianne Davis and Rudy Sims started in 113 and 112 straight games respectively from 2004 to 2007.

Head coach Brian Boyer, in his 14th season as the Lady Red Wolves, said the reason he’s sent the Monroe, La., native out with his starting five for 105 straight tip-offs is her leadership.

“She’s dependable. One, she’s a good leader. Number two, she always going to play and compete hard,” Boyer said. “She’s very dependable defensively; she’s good team player. She’s not always going to be your highest scorer, but she does every part of the game well.”

While about 90 points away from crossing the 1,000 point mark entering the Sun Belt tournament this weekend, McDowell, often referred to simply as “Q,” is ranked in the top-10 on the all-time steals list with 175, but says there’s no secret to her staying healthy for four years.

“I just drive off my energy. I just come in very excited to have another opportunity to do something I love doing,” McDowell said.

However, as much as she has enjoyed playing for ASU at the Convocation Center the last four years, this post-season was final time McDowell donned a basketball jersey.

As a Health Promotion major, McDowell will pursue a career in nursing once her basketball career and schooling have concluded.

“I love people, I love helping people, I love being around people,” McDowell said. “I just want to help people get better and help people (while) doing what I love.”

McDowell was influenced to enter the nursing field after growing up helping her mother take care of her diabetic grandmother and spending summers looking after a nephew who suffered from cerebral palsy and died two years ago at the age of 13.

“He used to come back and stay with me and my mom; he (lived) in Houston with my sister. I used to take care of him; feeding and bathing him.”

The decision to shift gears comes as the senior feels the wear and tear of playing basketball since high school finally starting to take their toll on her body. McDowell had to redshirt during the 2008-09 season because of a knee injury.

“Physically I think my body is wearing down,” McDowell said. “I still want to be able to run and play around outside of basketball, so I think it’s time to give my body a break and focus on my career after this.”

McDowell also tore her ACL while playing in high school and it was then her parents, who the senior cited as being her main inspiration in life, told her it was important to have a goal to work toward that wasn’t just basketball.

“That was an eye opener and my parents used it to tell me your ball (playing abilities) can deflate at any moment,” McDowell said. “You need something in your brain, between your ears, that’s going to carry you, not just basketball.”

Her mother, Loretta Young, works with a government-assisted program back home in Louisiana that helps the elderly receive medication through SenioRX. Her father, Bernard McDowell, is the owner of two restaurants.

McDowell, also fond of babies, is leaning toward a career in obstetric nursing, which focuses on the wellbeing of an expecting mother and her child during a pregnancy.

“I have family members that are nurses as well, and they were telling me that you get to see a little bit of everything,” McDowell said.

Five years from now, McDowell hopes to have earned her bachelor’s of science in nursing degree, but after that she doesn’t know if she’ll continue in school or begin her career.

Before that could happen though, McDowell took to the court Saturday in the Sun Belt Tournament in Hot Springs for the final time. The Red Wolves faced Florida International in what would be McDowell’s final collegiate game.

“It’s like go hard or go home. It is in a sense like another game, because every night we want to go out and leave it all on the floor,” McDowell said last week. “But Saturday, you want to come into the locker room and feel like there was nothing left you could do.

In a 57-50 loss to the Panthers, McDowell put up four points and grabbed six rebounds while leading ASU with three assists as the Lady Red Wolves finished the year with a 15-15 record.

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