If you’re born in Ann Arbor, most probably you’d want to call the University of Michigan your alma mater. Ask –as if it was necessary– Drew Lowder, the leading Junior point guard of Pioneer High School and 2019-class prospect. AA born and raised, Lowder is poised to make a run at Michigan’s hoops scene, and by that, I’m not just referring to UM, but rather the whole Great Lake State.
Let’s refresh our memory for a second. Can you think of the last great point guard to come out of Michigan? The thing is, there have not been that many since the days of someone they called “Magic” Johnson, let’s be honest. Yes, Michigan has produced youngsters-turned-icons such as notably, Fab Five’s member Jalen Rose, but not much more than that. With a state so drained in terms floor-general talent generation, it was about time someone stepped up and raised the hopes of Michigan. And although you will see him referred to as “Cheat Code”, the nickname he’s already boasting while carrying the Purple Pride, there are no shortcuts in Lowder’s path to success.
“Normal day, I’ll go shoot or lift before school, go to classes, [practice hoops] everyday for an hour after school, then back home to do homework.”
Take any weekday. By five or six in the morning, I’m sure if I call your home I’ll find you squeezing those last minutes of sleeping time while waiting for your alarm clock to get you up in a not-so-great mood, your daily routine. At the same time, Drew is probably lacing a pair of his Custom Jordan XIs in Pioneer’s gym or already putting on some dribbling moves or shooting reps before attending his classes. It’s been like that for three years, with a fourth on the horizon, and it has helped Lowder score three offers from Eastern Michigan, Toledo, and Northern Illinois.
“I think if I play the way I know I can I can rise up and grab some high-major offers.”
It may be early to call him the next big thing, alright, I’m not going to go over the limit. But you just have to take a sneak peek at his tape to realize Drew is going totally under the radar. The explosion is about to come, though, with his Senior HS year and his participation in the AAU circuit next on his schedule. If you’re not familiar with The Family Detroit –Lowder’s Nike EYBL team for this year–, then stop and read these names for a minute: Miles Bridges, James Young, Draymond Green, Malik Hairston. Former alumni, about to be joined by Drew in the books. And let’s be real, his tape doesn’t make it any difficult to appreciate he belongs.
“I like to keep my teammates involved too, but when it comes down to it, during a close game, I can score at will.”
By watching Lowder play you instantly come up with a few things.Kid’s flashy. Kid definitely doesn’t care about respecting you on the court. And please do not call it cockiness, but confidence, because that’s something he oozes. Give Drew little space and he’ll cross you over. Give him one extra second and he’ll either find the open man, rise and pull up for the shoot, or just jump in front of your face while performing some street-flavored move to end the play in an alley-oop to one of his teammates. Call me crazy, but to throw passes between the legs while on the run and hitting the target is something Collin Sexton was doing last year at the McDonald’s All-American game at look at the talk going around him now. Just saying.
Reading about Drew’s future, one of the things that pop up constantly is his lack of size (he’s currently at 6’0″ and 180 pounds). Some see a slow physical development of his body, but with the handles he already boasts, I wouldn’t put much into that. Lowder is tireless. He just doesn’t give up and is always looking one step ahead of the current state of the play, trying to find that hole that puts him in the perfect position to deliver.
“I would define my game as everything basketball is typically missing today. Defense (I think I’m a defender before anything, the offense only comes when you play defense), midrange, and unselfishness”
Lowder has been carrying pounds of top-class game and swag –what about that Supreme sleeve, or the sneaker change to a couple different models during the same game?– in Michigan’s Pioneer HS for a few years now, but this last season was definitely his best to date and saw him improve vastly even while sustaining some minor injuries along the way. It hasn’t been hard to see him put on constant 20-to-25 point performances. Not bad playing around 30 minutes per game and sitting for long periods of time with multiple contests decided early. Not to mention dimes and boards, which he’s able to get without much trouble even with those alleged “size issues” some are calling… Per his own words, “I have been checking my body, eating better, which is making me a lot more athletic, a lot more explosive and a lot quicker.” Take that one, doubters.
For some reason I don’t quite comprehend, Lowder is not yet ranked nor taken in high regard by the major scouting services around the nation, but be sure that will change during the summer. He’s a three-star prospect in ESPN’s 2019 rankings, No. 4 in the state of Michigan under two ESPN60 guys (including Mark Watts Jr., another –way less eye-popping– point guard). Had his team reached higher levels this season (the Pioneers were done in the first round of the postseason for the first time since Lowder joined them after ending as Conference champions the two prior times) we would probably be having another conversation.
“Right now I’m looking for a school that I can go to and work and develop into an NBA prospect if that’s after 1 or 2 or 3 years it doesn’t matter to me.”
As you read, Drew is all about keeping improving.
Michigan’s point guard pipeline hasn’t been too strong lately. Drew is here to improve the Wolverine’s state status on that front. Be it at the very own U of M or any other college on American soil, the NCAA will soon be able to experience Lowder’s handles first-hand in a matter of months and, the best of all is that that will only be the start of a meteoric career toward the greatest stages of basketball.