February 12, 2010
By David Driver
For the Stafford County Sun
Used with permission
Where Are They Now? Takes a look at former student-athletes
from Stafford County who have made a name for themselves with
college or pro teams.
As a freshman and sophomore at Coppin State, Chanelle Downing was expected to be an inside force and focus on rebounding for the Eagles in women’s basketball. As a sophomore she averaged 3.6 rebounds per game in five starts and came down with more than three boards per contest overall.
But this season, as a senior, the former Stafford High standout has been allowed more freedom on offense and has played away from the basket a lot more. “This year has gone a lot faster than I expected,“ Downing said from Baltimore. “It was nothing compared to any other year. We are a lot smaller and quicker. It is a different experience than last year.“
Added Downing, 21, one of three seniors this season for Coppin State: “I am enjoying it. It has allowed me to do different things. I am not really restricted as previous years, when I played just forward. I did not have the green light to go outside. I am able now to shoot (three-pointers) and take other opportunities that I didn’t have as a freshman and sophomore.“
Downing, as a junior last season, played in 23 games with one start and averaged 3.2 points and 2.0 rebounds per contest. She attempted just five three-point shots last season. This season Downing played in the first 19 games, with eight starts, and made five of 13 shots from long range.
The Stafford resident averaged a career-high 5.6 points and 2.9 rebounds in games through Feb. 4 for Coppin State, which was 8-11 overall and 4-4 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). In two games she led the team in scoring, with eight points in a 62-40 loss at Wake Forest in November and 12 points in a 70-40 setback in December against VCU in Richmond.
“We have grown a lot as a team,“ Downing said. “Because we are young, we have seven freshmen, it has been a challenge.“
Downing, who left Stafford High as the all-time scoring leader, helped lead her team to a district title in 2003. She is slated to graduate later this year with a degree in visual arts. She has an internship this semester and through the summer at a museum in Baltimore. Downing has applied to graduate school at George Washington, Howard and the Corcoran Gallery of Art with the hopes of studying graphic animation.
Downing, the daughter of Christopher and Annette Downing of Stafford, is not sure in what way she will be involved with basketball after her four-year career ends next month. “I am always going to love basketball,“ said Downing, whose team hosts South Carolina State on Feb. 13.