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Archive for Friday, May 12, 1995

DOUGHERTY BIG BACKER OF BROTHER

May 12, 1995

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Nobody was happier to learn of Neil Dougherty's hiring at Kansas than his sister, Lisa, the sixth-leading scorer in Jayhawk women's basketball history.

"I was chanting, 'Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk,'" said Lisa, now a 28-year-old physical therapist who lives in Baton Rouge, La.

She figures it's poetic justice that her older brother -- Neil is 34 -- has finally found his way to KU, as basketball assistant coach to Roy Williams.

Neil attended Ted Owens' summertime basketball camp, just as Lisa attended the Marian Washington camp as a youth.

"I think growing up in Kansas has a lot to do with him being happy about coaching at KU," Lisa said of Neil, who has spent the last four years as an assistant under Eddie Fogler at South Carolina.

"In fact, in high school, he wanted to go to KU or USC."

But those schools didn't offer scholarships, so Neil signed with Army coach Mike Krzyzewski. 'Coach K' left for Duke before Dougherty's sophomore year, so he wound up playing a year at Army under current Duke assistant Pete Gaudet.

"Neil has always worked incredibly hard. He's handled himself really well and has had an opportunity to work with top coaches. I think he will be a fine head coach, some day," Lisa Dougherty said.

"I've never met coach Williams, but I like the way KU plays. It's the way coach Fogler's teams play too, fundamentally sound. It all comes from Dean Smith (North Carolina coach who tutored Fogler and Williams)."

Dougherty has first-hand knowledge of her brother's teaching ability. Neil taught Lisa much about the art of shooting. She put it to good use, scoring 1,163 points as a Jayhawk.

"Neil is the purest shooter in our family," Lisa said, noting three of her brothers, including Neil, played at Cameron University in Lawton, Okla. One brother did not play college ball. Her sister played at both Stanford and Vanderbilt.

"He helped me with my shot. He could really shoot," Lisa added.

She said she hopes to be able to see the Jayhawks in person this season if she can get away from her job as an aquatic physical therapist.

"I work with orthopedic injuries, neck, back, knees, hips, the spinal cord," said Dougherty, who received her masters at the KU Med Center. "It's rewarding work."

She said she last saw the KU women's team play two seasons ago while visiting her parents at Christmastime in hometown Leavenworth.

She sees growing interest in women's basketball.

"Being in the area I am in, I have the opportunity to see games on TV," she said. "It's not broadcast as widely as men's games, but there is a lot of interest.

"Women's sports in general are really coming on. The TV coverage is playing a big part. No longer is women's basketball dominated by the South. The last couple Final Fours have had some new teams. When I came through, Louisiana Tech, Texas, UCLA and USC were the primary schools who dominated. Now other schools are getting the opportunity to recruit kids they couldn't recruit before."

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