Franklin Lowery has coached for nearly 23 years. When youâ€™ve coached over two decades of basketball, itâ€™s time to find a new challenge.
His challenge is to lead his team, the Lincolnton Lady Wolves, to the promised land.
Loweryâ€™s first objective will be teaching basic fundamentals on and off the court.
â€œWeâ€™re going to try to get back to basics. I think the kids are talented bunch of young ladies, they just need something to stabilize them,â€ he said.
Most of Loweryâ€™s time has been spent at Belmont Abbey and in Lincoln County. Itâ€™s that familiarity that will aide Lowery in his new job.
â€œThe majority of the young ladies know me, they know my character, my demeanor and they know what Iâ€™m about. Iâ€™m not one to belittle anyone or anything, but Iâ€™m going to try to make my mark,â€ he said.
Things came full-circle at Belmont Abbey for Lowery. One of the players Lowery helped recruit, went on to enlist Lowery as an assistant coach for eight years after his playing career. But when Dip Metress left the Abbey for Augusta State College, it was time for Lowery to move on as well.
The newly-named coach for the Lady Wolves believes basketball is in several ways a metaphor for life.
â€œBasketball is like life, if you go hard, then youâ€™re going to be successful. Weâ€™re going to try to win some games and weâ€™re going to have fun doing it,â€ Lowery said.
Having coached basketball at the middle school, JV, varsity level and in college, Lowery felt it was time to give back to the community in a bigger way than just clinics or camps.
â€œItâ€™s an opportunity (my new position) to give back and more than anything weâ€™re going to try to encourage the girls to know that they can be successful, but they have a part in it too,â€ he said.
Although, Lowery has never been directly involved with Lincolnton High School and has spent the majority of his time in the county at East Lincoln, he just wants girls heâ€™s grown up watching and coaching to be successful.
â€œI enjoy seeing kids succeed. I donâ€™t care where they are from. Iâ€™ve watched some play at Lincolnton Optimist and in the rec. league. Weâ€™ve watched them grow, theyâ€™re maturing and I just hope they put forth the mental effort to cause them to do the things to be successful,â€ Lowery said.
While Lowery, known for his solid character and strong faith, views his latest endeavor as a challenge heâ€™s also hoping to be Lady Wolvesâ€™ coach for more than a season Lord willing.
â€œIâ€™m not looking at it as a short term, because everything I do has lasting effects. If Coach Cloninger and the staff desires me to become a part of their program Iâ€™m very opened to that. I will not, if we donâ€™t win this year hang it upâ€” because Iâ€™m not a quitter,â€ he said.
He does hope since heâ€™s a fresh face and is an equal opportunists, that will produce new faces out for the Lady Wolves.
â€œWe have to get the right mix. I think they are very capable, but we have to get the right chemistry. I hope it would encourage the young ladies that have not been involved in the past to come out.â€
by John Mark Brooks