While guest hosting the Vertical Podcast with Woj alongside his college coach Jay Wright this week, Kyle Lowry revealed that he was almost kicked off Villanova’s basketball team before he had even played.
Current Toronto Raptors point guard Lowry spent two years playing college basketball at Villanova under Wright, before being drafted into the NBA by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2006.
However, Lowry admits he was lucky to stay on the team, and it may have been an injury that saved him, after he elected to play in a street league semi-final game instead of attending his first day of freshman orientation at the university.
“I did make the phone call before, because we’d had a summer that was amazing but full of struggles. So he [Lowry] had already got to the point where this could be it!” Wright recalled.
He added: “He hadn’t even started yet. I said to him ‘Kyle, if you don’t show up on time for orientation, you might never play here’.”
But it then got even worse for Lowry, who said he thought little of the threat at the time, before explaining: “I’m supposed to be on campus at 12, so I go and play in this semi-final game and literally at the same time I was supposed to be here, something bad happens. I tore my ACL.”
Wright tells of how he was fuming at Lowry’s non-appearance, but when nobody could find Lowry anywhere he started to become worried about where he could be.
The coach then says: “I went from wanting to kill you and get rid of you to feeling so bad for you that it went to sympathy and empathy.”
Fortunately, it all worked out well for Lowry in the end and maybe he learnt his lesson about paying attention to his coaches from that day.