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This week we go back 24 years for our “Where Are They Now?” athlete. Vivian Sowell played basketball for the Central Lady Eagles earning all-conference honors as well as being selected team MVP her senior year. Sowell graduated from Central High School in 1988.
After high school Sowell attended and graduated from Chris Logan Cosmetology School in Florence and is now self-employed as a cosmetologist in Jefferson.
Sowell is the daughter of Drucilla and the late Alfred Sowell and has one child. She attends Hopewell Baptist Church in McBee where she is involved in many church activities. She said she also enjoys sports, especially basketball.
I spoke with Sowell recently at a softball game in Jefferson and enjoyed hearing her share memories of playing Lady Eagle basketball.
“As I reflect on the years of playing basketball under the coaching leadership of Coach Paul Richardson, I remember the intense feeling I always had as our Lady Eagles played against county rival McBee,” she said. “To me it was always a challenge to face the Lady Panthers because they were always known to be a great and talented basketball team.”
Sowell recalled on game in particular.
“I remember our team visiting them my senior year and we were down only four points going into the locker room. We were playing team ball. I played as a shooting guard and I had been hitting three-pointers after three pointers and went into the locker room with 20 points,” she said. “I was used to having a high scoring game, but to have 20 points at halftime against McBee was an accomplishment for me and motivated me to play even harder in the second half.”
As many “Where Are They Now” athletes do, Sowell gives a lot of credit to her coach.
“I am thankful for everything Coach Richardson taught me and the rest of the team, both on and off the court,” she said. “He wasn’t the toughest coach, but he was a motivating leader of the team and taught us to have sportsmanship and respect for ourselves and others whether we were playing or not.”
Former teammate Tasha Myers said Sowell had great basketball skills.
“Vivian was our point guard. She was fast and aggressive and was an excellent ball handler,” Myers said. “She also had good work ethics, giving 100 percent all the time, and didn’t mind getting on the floor.”
Coach Joey Mangum said Sowell was on the best to ever don an Eagle uniform.
“Vivian was one of the best female players that we have had at Central,” he said. “She hustled and played hard. She was a good defensive player, a team leader with a positive attitude.”