Dowdell Finishing Senior Season Strong
Recently SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) had a chance to sit down with Ben Dowdell (BD), a senior on the men's basketball team. Dowdell was the first Australian player to sign with Santa Clara. While struggling with some injuries throughout his career here, he is working to make his senior season his best. Already this year he has tied his career high in points scored and has been instrumental in the Bronco's success.
SCB: How did you decide you wanted to play for Santa Clara? Was it important to you to play in the United States?
BD: I didn't really have much of a list because being from Australia you really only hear about the big schools. I didn't want to go to one of them and fight to sit on the bench for four years. My coach from the Australian Institute of Sports (AIS) gave me a list of schools I should look at including Santa Clara, Saint Mary's and Old Dominion, and I liked Santa Clara the best. I wanted to go to a university, and there aren't many scholarship opportunities for basketball back in Australia.
SCB: As you enter your last season here, are there any goals you have set out for yourself or the team to accomplish? How do you feel about tying your career high?
BD: I have always wanted to make the NCAA Tournament, and I don't know when the last time we have done that. Our record right now isn't going to let us to that, so we really need to do well in the [WCC] conference tournament. As for scoring 22 points in a game, (vs. Portland Jan. 22), it was nice to do and not that expected. It's good for the confidence offensively and good to know I have that capability.
SCB: What has been the best part about being at Santa Clara?
BD: That last win against Gonzaga was pretty good. The best thing is just the people that around, oh, my friends and even the school is great. I love the area and I love the people.
SCB: What do you plan to do post-college? You are getting your degree in mechanical engineering, correct? What would you like to do with it?
BD: I'm not sure yet, but it looks like I will go back to Australia and explore some basketball opportunities. If I can get a professional deal back home, I will do that, and if I can't, I will be an engineer in Australia. I got into mechanical engineering because I like the math and putting things together. I'd want to get more into the design of things, even if it deals with the design of cars or machinery systems.
SCB: What is your favorite thing to do at home?
BD: I don't get home that often, so it would probably have to be going to visit friends, people I haven't seen in a long time. I also like to go to the beach.
SCB: Do you have a favorite food from home you miss?
BD: We have things like the Greek gyro, like a wrap with meat inside of it. They're called Doner kebabs but are different than what the United States calls kebabs. They are pretty popular at home, like a late-night snack from the food stands around Australia.
SCB: What do you do with your teammates to bond outside of practice?
BD: A lot of times the guys will come over, hang out and play video games. It's a pretty busy lifestyle so there isn't a lot of downtime during the season.
SCB: As an international student, do you think you got to experience everything Santa Clara and California has to offer?
BD: I think I definitely experienced all of what Santa Clara has to offer. There are some things I haven't been able to do because I am here. I haven't been to Tahoe, a lot of my friends are always going to Tahoe. I might do a little bit of traveling after school too.
Look for Ben Dowdell in the Bronco's upcoming game at home, Tues., Feb. 1st vs. UC Santa Cruz.