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Former Gonzaga forward Sam Dower Jr.’s career sidelined by another knee surgery

UPDATED: Sun., Sept. 23, 2018

Sam Dower Jr. and David Stockton celebrate their selection to the All-Tournament team after the Zags defeated BYU in the 2014 WCC Tournament title game. (STEVE SPATAFORE / AP)
Sam Dower Jr. and David Stockton celebrate their selection to the All-Tournament team after the Zags defeated BYU in the 2014 WCC Tournament title game. (STEVE SPATAFORE / AP)

Sam Dower Jr.’s professional basketball career appears to be over.

The former Gonzaga Bulldog said in an Instagram post Sunday that it “may be time for the basketball chapter of my life to come to an end.” The 6-foot-9 forward, who signed in August with MKS Dabrowa Gornicza in Poland, explained that he needs another surgery on his left knee, the third in the last 2½ years.

The previous two operations sidelined Dower for the last two seasons.

“I’m thankful I got a chance to be on the court and play in actual games again, which is what I yearned (for) the most during my absence,” Dower wrote. “That at least helps me end this with closure.

“I gave it my all to get back playing, but this vessel of mine, my left knee to be specific, can’t physically endure the grit and grind of being a professional basketball player anymore and I have to learn to accept that.”

Several of Dower’s former teammates and even players who lined up against the sweet-shooting left-hander offered words of support. “All love bro!!” former Zag Kevin Pangos wrote. “Big things ahead Sammy D.” Added Drew Barham: “You are going to be successful in whatever comes next bro.”

The Minnesota native averaged 13.2 points and six rebounds for MKS Dabrowa Gornicza in 2015-16. He made 55 percent of his shots and 76 percent at the free-throw line. Dower played professionally in France and Latvia before his first stint in Poland.

Dower suited up for Few Good Men in The Basketball Tournament last summer in Spokane. He made three 3-pointers and scored 19 points in Few Good Men’s opening-round win over Team Utah.

Dower played in 137 games at GU from 2011-14. He averaged 9.3 points and 4.2 rebounds. He made first-team All-WCC as a senior when he averaged 14.4 points and 7.2 rebounds.

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