Childhood & Early Life
Kyle Lowry was born on March 25, 1986, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Lonnie Lowry Sr. and Marie Holloway. He has a brother named Lonnie Jr., who is five years older than him. His parents broke up when Kyle was young.
He had a difficult childhood. His father was never really involved in his or his brother’s upbringing, despite residing only ten minutes away from them. As a result, he was predominantly raised by his mother, with the help of his grandmother. Marie worked two jobs to provide for her children and tried her best to keep them away from the violent streets of North Philadelphia.
It was Lonnie, Jr. who served as the male role model for Lowry during his formative years and encouraged him to play basketball. As a youth, Lowry was athletic and also played baseball and football.
Baseball was the first sport at which he became exceptionally good and the skills he demonstrated on the football field were not terrible either. However, Lonnie, Jr. convinced his brother to pursue basketball more seriously. He trained Lowry to dribble with his off hand and put him in pick-up games with older boys.
With his brother’s guidance, it did not take Lowry long to become actively interested in the game. He started playing basketball before and after school and in the winters, he and his friends would look around for an indoor court where they would be allowed to play.
Soon enough, he drew the attention of Dave Distal, who was serving as one of his youth league coaches at the time. He was also an assistant coach at Cardinal Dougherty High School in Philadelphia. At Distal’s suggestion, Lowry began attending Cardinal Dougherty and became a part of their basketball program as a point guard.
Lowry truly came into his own during his time at Cardinal Dougherty. He earned the 2004 Pennsylvania High School Player of the Year accolade and in his senior year, registered 19 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and five steals in average per game. He was hailed as a five-star recruit by Rivals.com and was ranked sixth among the point guards and 28th among all players in US in 2004.
A number of colleges showed their interest in recruiting Lowry but he faced several difficulties with the recruitment process. For a considerable period, he wanted to be a part of the basketball program at Xavier College in Cincinnati, Ohio but they recruited someone else instead. This ended up happening to him three more times. Eventually, he enrolled at Villanova University in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
In his freshman season, Lowry was included in the Big East All-Rookie team and was named Philadelphia Big Five Rookie of the Year. He played 24 games, averaging 7.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
In the following season, he earned his place in the All Big East Second Team, as well as the First Team All-Big 5. Lowry appeared in 33 games, scoring 11.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.3 steals in average per game.
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In the 2006 NBA draft, the Memphis Grizzlies recruited Kyle Lowry as their 24th overall pick. He subsequently signed a two-year contract with the team on July 9. In his inaugural NBA season, Lowry played ten games, averaging 5.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.4 steals per game.
While he had envisioned a long career with the Grizzlies, the team selected Mike Conley, Jr., another point guard, during the 2007 NBA draft. After Lionel Hollins joined the Grizzlies as their new coach in 2009, Lowry was traded to the Houston Rockets.
Lowry played four seasons for the Rockets. In his debut season with the team, he also went on to make his first appearance in the playoffs, where he played 13 games, registering 5.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 0.9 steals in average per game.
He had developed a deep bond with the Rockets’ then coach Rick Adelman. However, Adelman was replaced with head coach Kevin McHale in June 2011.
Despite the success he accumulated with the Rockets, Lowry had several disagreements with McHale. He was eventually let go by the team after the 2011-12 season so they could invest their money on other players and draft picks. Later on, Lowry would come to regret his conflict with McHale and offer the latter an apology.
The Rockets made a deal with the Toronto Raptors to trade Lowry in exchange of Gary Forbes and a future first-round pick. In his first season with the Raptors, he appeared in 68 games, started 52 of them, and averaged 11.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and 1.4 steals per game.
In the 2013-14 season, he started all the 79 games he played, scoring 17.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 7.4 assists, and 1.5 assists in average per game.
In 2014, he made his first appearance in the playoffs with the Raptors and registered an impressive 21.1 points in average per game in seven games. This was also the Raptors’ first playoffs appearance since 2008 but they were eliminated when Brooklyn Nets’ Paul Pierce blocked Lowry’s potential match-winning shot in the seventh game of the first round of the playoffs.
After the 2013-14 season was over, Lowry became one of the most sought-after free agents in NBA and was actively courted by Miami Heat, Rockets, and several other teams. He eventually re-joined the Raptors after signing a four-year, $48 million contract in July 2014.
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Despite a strong performance in the regular season in 2014-15 by Lowry and the Raptors, their playoffs appearance proved to be disappointing, having been routed in the first round by the Washington Wizards.
The year 2015 was the first one when he appeared in the NBA All-Star game. He then earned his spot in the game in the ensuing three years as well.
The Raptors returned in the 2015-16 season completely reinvigorated. Lowry played 77 games in the regular season, scoring 21.2 points per game. In the playoffs, he led his team to the Eastern Conference Finals where they eventually lost to Cleveland Cavaliers.
In the 2016-17 season, he registered the career-best 22.4 points in average per game in 60 games of the regular season. However, Lowry missed several games in the playoffs due to injuries and the Raptors made it to the semi-finals before they were eliminated by the Cavaliers.
In July 2017, the Raptors retained Lowry with a three-year, $100 million contract. He appeared in 78 games in the regular 2017-18 season, scoring 16.2 points in average per game. In the playoffs, he played ten games, averaging 17.4 points per game.
Kyle Lowry met Ayahna Cornish in high school. They were both students at Cardinal Dougherty. Cornish was part of their basketball program as well. They have since married and become parents to two sons, Karter and Kameron.
In 2013, Lowry and Cornish set up the Lowry Love Foundation, which aims to improve the lives of underprivileged children.
Lowry has been a long-time critic of the current US president Donald Trump. In January 2017, he referred to certain executive actions of the Trump administration (colloquially known as Trump Travel Ban) as “bullshit”. Later that year, he compared the US president to a six-year-old child.