Owens lights up the nets for ‘Dogs

Published 10:24 am Tuesday, December 26, 2017

If you need a 3-pointer, Hampton head coach Ned Smith knows a guy.
Thursday night, during the Bulldogs’ close 58-55 loss to Johnson County, Hampton senior Dru Owens rocked the nets for eight 3-pointers, two of which were buzzer beaters that helped the ‘Dogs stay with the Longhorns. Owens’ performance Thursday night was not just a one-night deal. Over 52 games, Owens has racked up 115 3-pointers for the Bulldogs.
“Dru has been consistent,” said Smith. “He has been playing really well for us. He has been shooting the ball great night in and night out. Even when people are after him, he is still shooting the ball really well.”
This is Owens’ third year on varsity and his first year starting for the ‘Dogs. And every since Owens has suited up for Hampton, he has been a shooter, said Smith.
“He has shot a lot since he has been here,” said Smith. “He is always working on his shot and puts in a lot of hard work for us.”
What does it take to develop a good shot? Well, according to Owens, it takes practice and a lot of it.
“When we are not practicing or anything, I come and get some shots up,” said Owens after Thursday night’s game. “I’m practicing pretty much on any off days.”
Shooting well takes skill, but sometimes a good shooter can feed off the energy of an excited home crowd, and that is what happened Thursday night when Owens started raining down the treys.
“We were home, and I love shooting here,” said Owens. “The crowd got behind us good. I hit a couple there at the beginning, and that got the momentum going.”
Owens has been playing ball every since he was 3 years old and said that he didn’t start getting good at long-distance shots until around fourth or fifth grade when his grandfather started working with him.
“I started shooting some threes, and I started hitting some and really liked it,” Owens said. “Came out from hip to my shoulder and to where I shoot from now. It was just a natural progression.”
Every shooter is only as good as the team around him, and Owens said the Bulldogs are great at making feeds to open players.
“They are very unselfish,” said Owens. “Whoever has a hot hand they want to get the ball to them. They are just very unselfish.”
Midway through his final season with the Bulldogs, Owens says that playing for Hampton comes with its expectations but said he loves playing for the Bulldogs community.
“It is a lot of pressure playing for them because it is sub-state appearances year after year, so it is a lot of pressure,” said Owens. “But it is always great playing in front of the local crowd.”

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