Kyle Lowry makes debut for 76ers; fans share excitement for Philadelphia native

Beccah Hendrickson Image
Friday, February 23, 2024
Philadelphia native Kyle Lowry makes 76ers debut
Kyle Lowry makes debut for 76ers; fans share excitement for Philadelphia native

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- North Philadelphia native Kyle Lowry stepped onto the court at the Wells Fargo Center for the first time as a Sixer Thursday night, delighting fans who have watched his career since high school.

"Making his Sixer debut, from North Philly, number 7, Kyle Lowry!" the announcer cheered as Lowry got into the game in the first quarter.

It was the homecoming some Philadelphia basketball fans have waited decades to see.

"Hey, that's the best thing to happen, baby. Villanova proud, baby, all day long!" said Yock Mack from West Philadelphia.

"I'm a Villanova basketball fan, so representing you know? Just got this jersey, so had to put it on for the game," said John Kane, who was wearing a Kyle Lowry Villanova jersey.

Lowry grew up in North Philadelphia and played high school ball at Cardinal Dougherty. If you ask his friends from back then, Lowry's 18-year career in the NBA is nothing short of remarkable.

Philadelphia 76ers' Kyle Lowry plays during an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in Philadelphia.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

"He was rambunctious, energetic, hardworking. His game has evolved as well. He could not shoot a lick when we were younger," said Tim Smith, who's known Lowry since they were 6 years old. "When you're a small guard who can't really shoot, you have to do something special and his heart was always special, so that's what set him apart."

Smith and Lowry played together through grade school and varsity.

Lowry went on to play for Villanova and then was drafted to the NBA in 2006. He even won a championship with the Toronto Raptors in 2019.

"It's just crazy and it's so rare, which makes it even more wild that it's one of my friends who happened to do it," he said.

Fans hope Lowry will be the missing veteran piece the Sixers need.

"That pedigree. Bring it to these young guys. Embiid and everybody. That's a big move," said Corrie Williams from Bridgeton, New Jersey.

For Lowry fans, the dream doesn't stop with the hometown kid finally playing for the Sixers. They want him to help bring a championship back to Philadelphia.