Dow's competitiveness, showmanship helps him land All-American honors
April 7, 2022
Brendan Dow might have a future career in show business. After all, he understands better than most that the show must go on.
The senior for the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf boys basketball team emerged this season not only as one of the best players in the Great Plains Schools for the Deaf Conference, but in the entire country.
Part of the reason for that was not only a work ethic the leads him anywhere with a basketball hoop to work on his game, but a desire to reward spectators for showing up to watch the Trojans.
“As he progressed, got older and went through the years, he really showed that he wanted to be the No. 1 person,” MSAD coach William Bissell said. “He wanted to show everyone in the bleachers how well he can perform.”
In a game against Shattuck St. Mary’s this season, a handful of fans walked into the gym with the intention of watching Dow play. Then, Dow slammed his knee against another player to send him to the bench.
With MSAD playing again the next night, Bissell checked in with his start point guard to see if he wanted to take the rest of the night off to rest his sore knee. Dow unequivocally resisted to that suggestion.
“His very words that he told me were, ‘No, people came here to watch me play. I need to get back in,’” Bissell remembers.
That’s what helped Dow rack up individual accomplishments in his final season of high school basketball. He averaged 21 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals a game. He poured in 44 points in one game and accumulated four double-doubles.
He carried a Trojans team featuring a starting lineup with two eighth graders and a freshman to a 5-12 record and a fifth-place finish in the GPSD tournament, which earned him a spot on the all-tournament first team. After the season, he was named a second-team All-American by the National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association.
“Benny was the ultimate competitor,” Bissell said. “He’s always there to win it and he always wants to be his best. That’s the reason he was so successful. Sometimes after practice was offer he’d ask if he could stay to shoot more, or work on his dribbling, or work on his craft to get better during games and practices. He was always the last person to leave during practices and he was also one of the first to arrive.”
That competitive drive led him as far as Red Lake — a five-hour trip — after last season was cancelled due to COVID-19 so Dow could find a space to still work on his game.
Bissell believes that work ethic made an impact on the otherwise young Trojans.
“That’s the main reason why these eighth graders and freshmen are going to be great players,” Bissell said. “They improved drastically over just one year because of him.
“He’s the one that led them and was a great team captain. That’s why we were so successful and the team really looked up to him as a player and as a friend.”
Reach Regional Sports Editor Michael Hughes at 645-1106 or follow him on Twitter @APGSoMnHughes. © Copyright 2022 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.