Former LCC Star continues hoop career - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Former LCC Star continues hoop career

Drew Lowder

Former Lansing Community College basketball star Drew Lowder will be a fifth-year senior at Cleveland State University this fall.  Courtesy photo

Jayden Hewitt

By Jayden Hewitt
Sports Editor

Drew Lowder only played basketball at LCC for one year. But one year was all he needed to make an impact at the school.

Lowder averaged 26.7 points per game and 6.2 assists per game in his lone year in 2021-22. He led LCC to an NJCAA Great Lakes District A Championship Semi-Final victory, in which LCC defeated Ancilla College 115-108. Lowder had 44 points and 14 assists that game.

Lowder is now a student/athlete at Cleveland State University. He played in 35 games last season for CSU, averaging 9.8 points, two rebounds and 1.8 assists per game in his junior campaign. He will be a fifth-year senior this fall.

Before coming to LCC, Lowder grew up in Jackson. He attended Ann Arbor Pioneer High School and is the son of a former basketball player. His father, Tracey, played professionally and coached at Jackson High School from 2000 to 2008. Tracey’s love for the sport was passed down to Drew, and the rest is history.

Lowder began his college career at Holy Cross. After coaching changes, Lowder transferred to Eastern Michigan University. Amidst more coaching changes at EMU, Lowder decided to transfer once again.

The problem was, Lowder would have to sit a year. He then opted for the junior college route instead, to avoid sitting out. Lowder spoke about how he ended up at LCC.

“You know, LCC is not really a big JUCO for bounce-backs (Division One players looking to go to Division One again),” Lowder said. “That’s more like the southern conferences, like the D1 JUCOs. But my dad is actually very close friends with and has been mentored by (LCC Coach) Mike Ingram his whole life. I grew up going to LCC basketball camps because my dad would help Mike work them.

“I’ve just always been a big fan of him (Ingram) and I’ve always had a good relationship with him. So, I wanted to go somewhere where I trusted the coaching staff completely and I have the most confidence in Mike.”

At LCC, Lowder was given a large role on and off the court as a leader by Ingram. He was given the chance to get more out of his teammates and establish a culture while at LCC early on. He said he is thankful for his time at LCC.

“It just gives you a different outlook on things,” Lowder said on coming to a junior college from a Division One program. “You see a lot of people that supported you, abandon you and things like that. At one point I realized I think I had lost like 2,000 followers on Instagram or something like that.

“People see guys go JUCO and they’re like, ‘Oh, OK. That’s it. His career is over,’ so that was just one of the little things that motivated me.”

Lowder spoke about the difference between Division One and JUCO culture, saying some players don’t work as hard in Division One. He cited former LCC teammates Sean Cobb and Cole Krause as people who had high work ethics. There’s less egos at a place like LCC, while Division One schools more frequently have a battle of egos, according to Lowder.

Lowder also spoke about the recruiting process coming from a junior college. He said it is harder to form relationships with coaches, as junior colleges are typically more under-recruited than high schools.

Lowder cited Cleveland State Assistant Coach Jay Shunnar as a large factor in his move to CSU. Shunnar played and coached at Ann Arbor Huron, near Lowder’s Ann Arbor Pioneer. Already having a relationship, it made Lowder’s decision a bit easier.

Even after moving on, Lowder said he will always have a soft spot for LCC.

“Without a doubt I’ll always love LCC,” Lowder said. “As crazy as it sounds (I miss) study tables. We all hated going to study hall. We just laughed, cracked jokes, you know, not getting much done. But it was just those times that really helped me form a special relationship with those guys.

“I still talk to those guys. It was a real family atmosphere there (at LCC), which I didn’t expect going into it. It was definitely one of the closest I’ve been to my teammates, ever.”

Ingram spoke about coaching Lowder, calling his impact “immediate.”

“Not only was he our best player, but he played the hardest, competed the hardest (and) practiced the hardest,” Ingram said. “He made the other players around him better. (He was the) leading scorer in the country, leading three-point shooter in the country, but was also in the top five in assists in the country.

“He made me a great coach last year. I was also proud of his leadership skills. He cheered his teammates on. He was really great for our program.”

Lowder returned the compliments. He said Ingram improved his mental outlook of the game.

Lowder also said Ingram “really cares about his players,” even mentioning Ingram didn’t miss a single game he played for Cleveland State last season in Michigan. He said Ingram even attended some games in Cleveland.

Lowder will play his senior season at Cleveland State starting this fall. He said he is confident CSU will be in the NCAA Tournament in the spring of 2024.

“After that, I’ll probably declare for the (NBA) draft, and see what my options are there, probably try to play summer league, or something like that,” Lowder said. “(I’ll) try to get on a G-League roster, but if not, I’ll definitely be going somewhere overseas. Wherever I get the opportunity that’s best for me and the people that I care about is what I’ll end up doing.”

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