Dowdell, who is in Ruston working out this summer, will serve her second tour overseas after playing in France last year.
“I get to get to play against some of the elite players in Australia,” said Dowdell. “It gives me an opportunity to see another part of the world. My goal is to continue playing professionally, and if that is overseas, then I’m okay with doing that.”
The two-time Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year during her playing days at Louisiana Tech is set to join the franchise in early September while the season opens in early October.
Fire coach Chris Lucas said he knows what his team has added with the signing of the 6-foot-2 power forward.
“Shanavia has proven in the NCAA and in France that she is a high-quality player capable of scoring and controlling the paint on defense,” said Lucas. “As well as being a great scorer and rebounder, Shanavia is a versatile defender who can guard a range of positions and opposing stars in this league. Across the floor we have an athletic team and that will allow us to get up and down the court and play some entertaining basketball.”
During her senior year at LA Tech, Dowdell averaged 18.0 points and 12.4 rebounds per game, ranking in the Top 5 in the nation in rebounding. The Calera, Alabama native was drafted in the second round of the 2010 WNBA Draft by the Washington Mystics before moving to France for one season where she starred for France LBF side Toulouse Metropole Basket.
She returned to the WNBA in 2011 with the San Antonio Silver Stars.
Townsville finished tied for sixth in the 10-team league last year.