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Zabian Dowdell Signs, Makes Debut with the Phoenix Suns

Update: Zabian Dowdell (LINK) made his NBA debut on Tuesday night!  He entered the game for the Phoenix Suns against the Denver Nuggets at the start of the 4th quarter.  Unfortunately, it took a 30-point deficit for the Suns to get Dowdell in.  After jumping out to a 32-20 lead at the end of one, Denver outscored Phoenix 82-40 in the 2nd and 3rd quarters to turn the game into a woodshed beating.  He scored his first career points later on in the quarter, hitting a couple of free throws.  After missing his first three shots, Dowdell hit a 19-foot jumper for his first career field goal.  Zabe finished 1/6 (most were outside jumpers) with 4 points and added a rebound, 2 assists, and steal in 12 minutes.

This might not get the national fanfare of when Shaq went to the Phoenix Suns (a.k.a.: The Big Cactus), but our beloved Zabian Dowdell has finally made it to the NBA.  Zabe signed a 10-day contract to play for the Suns (these contracts are standard with fill-ins while a team gets a chance to see if they want to keep a player longer term).  He will wear #22 for the Suns.

Dowdell played with the Suns’ Summer League team the last two years but was cut in training camp before this season.  He then played for the Tulsa 66ers in the NBA D-League before the Suns picked him up.  Zabe was averaging 14.5 ppg and 5.6 apg in the Developmental League.

Zabian still sits in 8th on the Hokies’ career scoring list, 6th in assists, and 3rd in steals.

Dowdell did not play in the game Sunday night, but he had just signed that day.  One site claims the signing is more for practice purposes and that he might not see the court much, if at all (he’s behind Steve Nash and Goran Dragic).  Here’s hoping the former Hokie First Team All-ACC player gets a chance to show his stuff, at least a little bit, during this 10 day stretch.  The Suns next game is Tuesday and they play five games total during those 10 days.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1217 posts on Tech Hoops.

Niemo is a member of the VT Class of '98. While not a professional journalist by any stretch, Niemo analyzes and breaks down every minute of Hokie hoop action. He also researches topics of interest such as Hokie recruits, program revenue, statistical data on the team, previews VT opponents, and discusses his favorite bourbons/Scotches. In addition to his passion for Hokie hoops, Niemo has attended 126 straight VT football home games (every game since '94), eclipsing the 100 mark in September of '09 and recently attended his 20th consecutive VT/uva game. During the final home basketball game of his senior year, he was brought onto the court and was awarded 2 passes to the Atlantic 10 Basketball Tournament in Philly during a timeout for being a "Super Fan" during his time at VT. The Hokie Bird made the award on behalf of Athletic Director Jim Weaver. Niemo was known to be in the front row of every home game with his familiar red afro hairdo.

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  • http://www.heyhokie.com Goodraisin

    He probably won’t get much court time, but I could see Dowdell getting into the game as a 2-guard, or if they want to give Dragic some time at the 2. Especially against smaller starting guards, like Golden State for example. Right now the Suns are running Jared Dudley at the 2, when he’s really more of a 3… he and Vince Carter got burned defensively by Cavs SG Manny Harris last night. Nash and Dragic are really their only two pure guards as even Vince Carter is kind of a 2/3 hybrid who likes to post up at times and isn’t much of a ball-handler. I could be wrong, but if I were Alvin Gentry, I’d be willing to give Dowdell some game time, especially to help on defense.

    • Niemo

      Are there any games you aren’t watching???

  • http://www.heyhokie.com Goodraisin

    Haha, it was really just a coincidence. I’m a Cleveland sports fan (and yes, sometimes I wonder why bother), and the Cavs/Suns game was the first Cavs game that I could actually watch on TV since they played (and got smoked by) the Miami Heat, so I watched it last night. Also, work is kind of slow right now, so I have some extra time on my hands during the day to peruse different websites. That’s my weak excuse.

  • chuck

    Look for Dowdell to get extended later this year if someone else doesn’t pick him up…Popovich is a fan of his in San Antonio…

    Nash is going to be traded this season. They can’t justify keeping an aging PG around with no finishers…all respect to Grant Hill…that trade to save $$ next year by acquiring the gutless Vince Carter just killed their spirit.

    So, this could be an audition for a cheap replacement who is familiar with their systems as Dowdell played summer league there twice now.

  • http://www.hartmanium.com Hartman

    Thanks for the update on our beloved d-d-d-DOWDELL

  • King

    Saw him enter the game last nite in the 4th qtr of a blowout loss to Denver. Hardly recognized him…he looked so small among the giants. Ended with a respectable stat line in a dozen minutes of play. Fyi, if you Google Zabian Dowdell images, your arm curl photo is one of the first pics to come up.

    • Niemo

      King – Ha! That makes me laugh. The whole arm-curl thing was kind of spontaneous and started with Jamon Gordon after I had a few cocktails at the ’07 Hokie Celebration. I wish I had the exchange on video, “Can I arm curl you?” “Huh? Uh, I guess.” Bam. Done.

      I guess I’ve arm-curled two NBA players now along with Greasy Face-quez of the Memphis Griz.

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