THE LOWE DOWN - Bryant Lowe has joined the Warriors basketball coaching staff. Lowe is a member of the Rend Lake College Sports Hall of Fame, was a First-Team All-American as a sophomore there, and is the Warriors' all-time record holder in career points, field goals and rebounds. He led the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames to its only NCAA Tournament appearance in 1998. He has coached at UIC for the past four seasons. CLICK HERE for a larger image.
INA, Ill. – Rend Lake College basketball coach Randy House has welcomed Warrior Hall of Famer and University of Illinois-Chicago star Bryant Lowe to his coaching staff.
Lowe, a NJCAA DII First-Team All-American in 1996, has been helping House lead practices for a couple of weeks now. He played at RLC from 1994-96 and broke all kinds of Warrior records. He transferred to UIC where he had a standout career from 1996-1998. Lowe has worked on staff with the Flames for the past four seasons, three as an assistant coach for the NCAA DI program.
He said the assistant coaching position at Rend Lake came up while he was catching up on the phone with his former coach, Tim Wills, who is now athletic director at Rend Lake. The Cairo native said he sees it as his opportunity to return to the area of his roots and give something back.
“I’ve done my pro thing and my coaching thing,” he said. “For me, it’s about being happy. And I think the opportunity to come back home and contribute to a place that helped make me a successful individual on the court and off of the court is a great opportunity I couldn’t pass on.”
“I couldn’t ask for a better guy,” House said. “You just don’t get an opportunity to have a Division I assistant coach for the past four or five years come and be a part of your staff. Not only is he that, but he is an All-American, Player of the Year, and a Hall of Fame member. It’s great for the community. It’s great for Southern Illinois. And it’s great for Rend Lake College."
Lowe was the lone inductee to the RLC Hall’s Class of 2002. While at RLC, he racked up honors including First-Team NJCAA Division II All-America; two-time All-Region XXIV selection; and two-time All-Great Rivers Athletic Conference pick (“MVP” sophomore runner-up). He was third in the nation in scoring at 27.3 points per game, fifth in rebounds at 11.7 as a sophomore, and was the only “National Player of the Year” contender to rank in the top five of both. He still holds RLC career records with 1,490 points, 598 field goals and 678 rebounds. His season marks as a sophomore were 845 points in 330 field goals. He is the highest scoring RLC freshman ever as a 21-year-old newcomer with 645 points.
He was captain of UIC’s only team in history to make it to the NCAA Tournament. According to UIC’s website, Lowe’s work on staff helped the Flames to some memorable moments, including road wins over Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech in 2008-09, and an 18-win season en route to the Horizon League semifinals the year before. He earned All-Midwestern College Conference First Team accolades after averaging 15.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. In his first season with the Flames, Lowe was named to the MCC’s All-Newcomer Team.
Lowe earned his bachelor’s degree from UIC and went on to complete a master’s degree in instructional leadership from the university at the same time he was coaching.
He returned to UIC after spending three years as a manager for the Aldi Corporation. Prior to his work there, Lowe served as a Recreational Supervisor for the Alsip Park District and as a substitute physical education teacher and part time basketball coach at PAEC High School.
“I have always wanted to work with young men and women. To give back, I think that’s my purpose in life, to help others. Whether it’s coming down here and making that drive or volunteering up there, it’s important to me to give back. This is an opportunity for me to do that.”
Between collegiate basketball and coaching, Lowe played for the Gary Steelheads (Indiana) in the Continental Basketball Association, which gave him the opportunity to go up against some unique talent.
“From Lebron to Kobe, we had a lot of guys come into town and play ball in our gym,” he said. “Playing with those guys and having a little bit of fun along the way ... playing against a bunch of guys who now play in the NBA, it was a fun experience.”
His playing career ended during his preparation for international basketball. While going through a tough training regiment, his knee began to swell. A specialist informed him that there was virtually no cartilage left in either knee.
“There was a lot of damage there,” Lowe said. “He ... told me that the likelihood of surgery making me come back at a high level was pretty much slim to none. Being that I had a family and I had other obligations, it just wasn’t something that I needed to pursue. My family was more important. I had to leave it alone.”
His two daughters, 9-year-old Tea and 8-year-old Brenae, stay in Chicago while dad drives down to Southern Illinois. He is still working at UIC and putting in as much time with the Warriors as his schedule will allow. Lowe said he wants to build on RLC’s basketball history and have some fun.
“To come down here, this is the fun part, to teach these guys. Hopefully, I can teach them some of the things I’ve learned along the way. You never know, maybe we can get another successful run going on here.”
For all things athletic at RLC, visit the college online at www.rlc.edu/warriors.
ADDITIONAL BRYANT LOWE RLC STATS: No. 34 topped 16-year-old career scoring total by 317 and 23-year rebound standard by 74. Scored in double-figures in all 60 games, with 20 or more in 25 of 31 outings final season, 30 or more in 11; owned six of the 17-best scoring performances, including second-best 43 vs. Kaskaskia; led team in scoring 39 times, in rebounding 52 (in both, 36) and in assists 19; highs of 20 rebounds, 11 assists. Warriors were 20-12 in 1995-96, 11-3 against Division II foes and ranked as high as No. 5. For career, hit 52% FG, 69% FT and averaged 24.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists.