Washington State senior Derrick Low, an Iolani alumnus, will travel to New Zealand and Australia for an exhibition tour before going to Philadelphia for a Pan Am Games tryout. CLICK FOR LARGE
U.S. Pan Am team gives Low a tryout
Washington State senior Derrick Low, an Iolani alumnus, will travel to Philadelphia for a Pan Am Games tryout
PULLMAN, Wash. » Derrick Low confirmed yesterday that he is one of 35 invitees to the Pan American Games that will be played in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the last week in July.
The senior guard for Washington State will have to compete against backcourt teammate Kyle Weaver when they report to Philadelphia on July 12. Prior to that, both players will take part in an exhibition tour to New Zealand and Australia, where the Washington State Cougars are playing five games against local pro teams and one vs. the respected Australian national team.
Low spent two weeks in Hawaii before returning to Pullman, Wash., on Monday.
Last year, Low moved from point guard to shooting guard, where he averaged a career-high 13.7 points a game. He shot 44.6 percent from the field, including 39.9 percent from beyond the arc, and averaged 1.3 steals a game.
Washington State head coach Tony Bennett, who was responsible for shifting Low to shooting guard, said it was a great experience for his players to try out for the Pan Am games. He played in the 1991 game. The top 12 players will make the team. The Pan Am coach is Villanova's Jay Wright.
PULLMAN, Wash. » Derrick Low, who already has forged a path that few from the islands have followed in college basketball, now hopes to follow a road forged by Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West and so many other all-time greats who have represented the United States at the Pan American Games.
Low, the former Iolani standout, who will be a senior at Washington State next season, confirmed yesterday that he has been invited to the U.S. tryouts for the Pan Am Games.
"I don't know too much about it," Low said. "I'm just honored to be invited.
"I'm looking forward to meeting and seeing the other players on the team. I think it'll be fun. We'll see."
Low and WSU backcourt partner Kyle Weaver are among 35 players expected to report to Philadelphia on July 12 for approximately a week of tryouts. Twelve players will represent the United States at the Pan Am Games, where men's basketball will be held July 25-29 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
"The best players in America who are not pros are trying out for this thing." Washington State coach Tony Bennett noted. "It's a great experience."
Bennett, a former NBA player and Wisconsin-Green Bay star, played for the United States at the 1991 Pan Am Games in Havana. The Pan Ams are held every four years for athletes from North, South and Central America, and the Caribbean. Villanova's Jay Wright will coach the U.S. men's basketball team.
Low has started all three years at WSU, but foot fractures and a weak supporting cast limited him the first two seasons. Bennett, who was the primary recruiter of Low as a WSU assistant coach, replaced his father, Dick, as head coach last season and moved Low from point guard to shooting guard.
Low played more aggressively in his new role and led the Cougars with career highs of 13.7 points, 2.2 3-point field goals made and 34.4 minutes per game. He also registered career bests of 44.6 percent shooting from the field, 39.9 percent shooting on 3-pointers and 1.3 steals per game.
"The first two years, I was just injured," said Low, who averaged 7.6 points his first two seasons. "I didn't get up to how I could play.
"After a full season of being healthy, and the team being healthy, I think that helped me get noticed more."
The Cougars, perennial doormats in the powerful Pacific-10 Conference, tied a school record with 26 wins (against just eight losses) and played in the NCAA Tournament (reaching the second round) for just the fifth time in school history. All five of WSU's late-season regular starters return, led by all-conference picks Low and Weaver. ESPN.com recently ranked the Cougars fifth in its early preseason poll.
Low, who said he has "no idea" which other players besides Weaver have been invited to the Pan Am tryouts (USA Basketball has not released a list), just returned to Pullman after two weeks in Honolulu. The Cougars began practicing Monday for an upcoming exhibition tour of Australia and New Zealand, where they will play six games -- five against local pro teams, and one against the respected Australian national team.
"I'm looking forward to it," Low said. "There'll be some time for fun, too. I think we're going to go snorkeling."