By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

McNary senior Paige Downer had decided not to play basketball at the next level when she got a text from PJ Martineau, an assistant coach at Clackamas Community College.

With an invitation to tour the campus, Downer thought she didn’t have anything to lose.

After a short workout, Downer decided Clackamas was exactly where she wanted to spend the next two years.

“I really love the coaching staff,” Downer said. “I just really liked it there.”

Downer had only been to Clackamas once before when her AAU team, Oregon Elite, played a tournament there.

She had planned to go to Chemeketa before she got the text.

“I knew that I was going to miss it,” Downer said of basketball. “I was trying to convince myself that it’s fine. Sports were in the past and try to focus on education and what you’re doing for your future. But I knew I was going to miss it. I had to come back. I’m really excited, too.”

Downer, who averaged 7.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game during her senior season, was voted to the All-Greater Valley Conference Second Team.

The Cougars play in the Northwest Athletic Conference and finished 21-8 last season.

Downer hasn’t decided on a major but she is interested in youth juvenile counseling.

“I’ve always enjoyed the law side of things and I also really like psychology and counseling and talking to people through stuff,” Downer said. “I find that really fun. I like helping people out with their problems.”