All in the family: GCU gets D-I guard after signing brother

Russ Pennell just discovered he got the family package when he recruited Jeff Lowery to play for his Grand Canyon University basketball team.

Lowery, a 6’1″ point guard from nearby Desert Vista High School, signed a national letter of intent back in November.  But, at the time, the GCU head coach had no idea that event would lead to an even bigger recruiting catch.

Joshua Lowery, Jeff’s big brother, will be joining the Antelopes’ squad for his senior season, after starting more than 50 games at the Division I level, playing for Pepperdine University – a real catch for a D-II program like Grand Canyon.  The school announced his addition to the program earlier this week.

The senior Lowery played in 90 games over three season at Pepperdine and will bring that experience to the GCU program at a time when the team just lost its team leader and high scorer to graduation.  Kyle Speed led the ‘Lopes last season in points (13.6 ppg), assists (82) and steals (36) and was an All PacWest First Team selection.

Lowery, a 6’3″ point guard, averaged 8.7 points and 3 assists a game as a junior at Pepperdine.

“We are very excited to have Josh join our GCU family,” said Pennell in welcoming the transfer.  “His experience alone will have a big impact on our program…our campus will love him because of his play and dynamic personality.”

Brother Jeff was one of three local players inked in November.  He comes on board with Camyn Boone, a 6’7″ forward from Mountain View High School in Mesa who was a first team All-Region selection, and Derreck Brooks from Mesa’s Desert Ridge High School, a 6’5″ guard/forward who averaged just over 20 points and eight rebounds a game as a senior.

The locals have a lot of familiar company on the GCU roster, which includes 12 other players from the Phoenix area.

This latest trio of incoming freshmen are about the future.  The addition of Josh Lowery is about the here-and-now.  His senior leadership will be important to a team that also lost Nick Witherill to graduation.  The 6’3″ guard from Highland High School in Gilbert scored in double figures a dozen times last season.

GCU is coming off a 19-8 season in which they made their first trip back to the post-season since 2006-07.  They drew the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, No. 12-ranked Western Washington, and were dropped in the opener, 79-73.

But the ‘Lopes finished the regular season on a nine-game winning streak and are counting on that momentum to carry through to the new season.

And even more important than the momentum is the addition of an experienced point guard.

Let the family reunion begin.

(Photo: GCU Athletics)