PAOLA — Trinity McDow is headed to Kansas City Kansas Community College to play basketball.
McDow, a Paola senior, had a virtual tour of the campus and met with coaches over the telephone. She also made a trip to the campus to view the surroundings from her car.
McDow said she loved the program, the coaching staff, the campus and the academics at Kansas City Kansas Community College.
She was recruited to play post. She was a four-year member of the Paola Lady Panther basketball team.
McDow, the Tri-County Spotlight Girls Basketball Player of the Year, averaged 12 points, six rebounds and 1.4 steals per game.
“I would like to thank my God and my family,” McDow said. “I would not be where I am today without them. I would like to thank my friends and teammates who have supported me throughout this process. Lastly, I would like to thank coach Phillips and coach Ross for helping develop me into the player I am today.
“I am proud to announce I will be continuing my academic and basketball career at Kansas City Kansas Community College,” she said. “Go Lady Blue Devils.”
McDow made her decision official, signing a national letter of intent to play basketball at Kansas City Kansas Community College on Friday, May 1, with a ceremony in her front driveway. She announced her decision on Twitter and Facebook.
“It is very exciting,” McDow said. “I knew I would be able to, and now I want to see where it goes and if I can go even higher.”
She started playing basketball in the first grade. McDow said she fell in love with the sport. She has played the game ever since.
She played for the Paola Middle School Lady Panthers in seventh and eighth grade. McDow starred for the high school program the last four seasons.
She has had a drive to excel from watching her brother Mason McDow play for the Paola High School Panthers and the Ottawa University Braves.
“I got into basketball from watching my brother play,” she said. “I saw how good he got, and I decided I wanted to do that. I want to be as good as he is.”
McDow, a post player, handled the basketball almost like a third guard on the floor for Paola. She not only took on the role, but excelled at it. McDow had the lowest turnover percentage on the team.Defensively, she also did the little things to make the team better. McDow led the team in charges taken.
McDow came into the program with great expectations and lived up to them with a lot of hard work and determination, Paola coach Stuart Ross said.
“Trinity’s greatest attribute is how far she has come in four years,” Ross said. “She did all the little things it takes to reach that potential we saw when she was younger. I couldn’t be prouder of her development and it speaks well for her future.”McDow would like to make the jump to NCAA Division I after two years at Kansas City Kansas Community College.
She believes the Lady Blue Devils are the perfect stop to reach those goals.“Coach O’Neal played at a community college and then went on to play NCAA Division I, so she knows what it takes,” McDow said.
McDow said she is ready for the challenge.
McDow plans on majoring in exercise science.
McDow was the leading scorer for the Lady Panthers this season. She put up some big games down the stretch.
McDow scored 15 points in her final home game for the Lady Panthers in a 48-36 victory against Independence on March 3.
She scored a game-high 19 points on senior night, leading Paola to a 46-35 win against rival Louisburg on Feb. 28. McDow kept the Lady Panthers in the game in the second quarter, sinking three baskets with two 3-pointers. She scored eight of Paola’s 11 points in the frame.
McDow led all scorers, posting 23 points, in a 51-39 victory against Spring Hill on the road Feb. 11. She scored 11 points in the fourth quarter to spark Paola on a 20-6 run to seal the win.
She had a game-high 19 points in a 55-25 victory against Independence in the opening round of the Burlington Invitational on Jan. 21.
Trinity McDow was joined by family and friends for the signing.
Family enjoying the moment with her included her parents Bill and Kari Sanders, her brother Mason McDow and his girlfriend Katie Inscore.
Neighbors also celebrated with several children taking turns having their picture taken with Trinity.