Spiece Belonged To Lowry

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Kyle Lowry stole the show. There's no doubt about it.

His team wasn't favored to win. They weren't supposed to play deep into the playoffs and he surely wasn't expected to give the kind of performance he did all weekend last weekend at the 10th annual Spiece Run ‘n Slam.

The native of Philadelphia and point guard for the Philly MJC traveling team put his squad squarely on his shoulders and carried them to the 62-53 win over the Dajuan Wagner All-Stars in the championship game.

After the game, Lowry graciously posed with the MVP trophy that he so deservedly was awarded. However, it wasn't the title game or even the entire weekend series that sticks out in our mind; it was a big time effort in a semifinal game that is seared into the memory of those who witnessed it.

The Family, a Detroit-based group, was the tournament favorite. They hung a hundred on a team in pool play and their perimeter scorers were hitting on all pistons. For instance, Malik Hairston, another junior, dropped 34 on a team the day before. His running mate, Michigan-bound junior shooting guard Joe Crawford, was doing his best MJ impersonation, hanging and hitting jumpers on anyone who dared get in his way.

The engraver was halfway through with the inscription on their championship trophy by Sunday morning. But, like in any good AAU setting, you simply through out the postulate that the best team on paper will win. In AAU ball, anything can happen and it usually does.

Lowry ran into the powerhouse Detroit boys in the semis. Philly MJC jumped on them early and a team that was considered deep all weekend long looked quite weary. It was the 8th game of the event for both teams and pretty much everyone looked winded except for Lowry.

The 5-11 point man ran roughshod through a multitude of defenders. When he had the ball in his hands it looked like he was running downhill. 41 points later mighty The Family had fallen. Lowry had taken matters into his own hands.

"You're the best I've seen all year young man," The Family head coach "Speedy" Walker told him after the game. "Great job."

It sure was. Two hours later, Lowry, finally looking the slightest bit tired, gutted it out against Wagner's boys for the championship.

Somewhere, right now, in a college basketball office, there's an anxious coach, signing his name and putting a stamp on a recruiting letter to this week's hottest prospect. And it's not one of those form letters either, this one is sure to be hand-written, dated and signed by some high-major coach who hopes he can get it there in time to beat the rush.


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