Athletics & Recreation / Magazine Feature

‘Quit’ not in Lowery’s vocabulary

Tyesha Lowery remembers an important lesson from her mom.

“She taught me to never quit at anything I do,” Lowery says.

And ever since her high school basketball days in Arlington, Texas, she has clearly relied on that lesson.

Lowery, a sixth-year senior who earned her BSBA in statistics last year and is now getting a master’s in computer information systems, has suffered the kind of serious knee injuries that send most athletes to an early retirement.

She had one knee surgery before she ever got to DU, and then two more while playing for thePioneers. She missed the 2002–03 and 2004–05 seasons when she tore her anterior cruciate ligaments twice. The NCAA decided to give her a sixth year of eligibility.

“I never really considered quitting,” she says.

She didn’t. And what’s more, she’s gone on to be one of the best women’s basketball players DU has ever known and is the team’s leading scorer with an average of 12.3 points per game.

“The love of the game kept me from quitting,” says the guard. “I just love being around the game and I couldn’t quit.”

That’s a good thing — for her, the team and DU.

Lowery has gone on to break the Pioneers’ single season record of steals (89) and this year she was named to the all-Sun Belt second team — DU’s only honoree.

Pam Tanner, Pioneers women’s head basketball coach, calls Lowery “a model of perseverance.”

“She’s been such a positive influence on the team and really the entire DU community,” Tanner says.

At just 5-foot-6, Lowery is rarely the tallest woman on the floor, but her tenacity hits the stratosphere. That tenacity also helped the team journey deep into the Sun Belt tournament this year — all the way to the semis.

In the quarterfinals March 3 against fifth-seeded University of Arkansas at Little Rock with just three seconds on the clock, Lowery nailed a jumper to give DU a 62-60 win and a berth into the semis.

But the Pioneers’ run came to an end on March 5 with a loss to Middle Tennessee State University.

That was Lowery’s last game as a Pioneer.

And soon after that loss, Lowery reminisced on the persistence her mom taught her.

“That persistence has taught me responsibility, how to work with different people from different places and to fight and never give up.”

Lowery plans to keep playing basketball and will try out for the WNBA. If that doesn’t pan out, she might play overseas.

One thing is for certain, though — she won’t give up.

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