VILLANOVA, Penn. (AP) -- Kyle Lowry was as headstrong as any Villanova star to wear the uniform, and nearly wore out his welcome with coach Jay Wright before he ever hit the court. The two have since become extremely tight, and when Lowry returned for a night in his honor, Wright requested a picture with Lowry and his two young sons, and a trio of former Wildcats. When the fussy kids were still shooting hoops, Lowry wrangled them over for a quick picture.
"They listen way better than you did," Wright cracked.
"They know I don’t play," said Lowry, whose jersey was retired at halftime.
The photo opp still fresh in his mind, Wright smiled as he said, "That was my favorite part of tonight."
Lowry made plenty of big plays in his two seasons with the Wildcats as one of the early pieces that helped build Wright’s program into a national power.
Lowry was flanked by former teammates and called the jersey recognition honor a "once in a lifetime" experience that he was able to share with his wife and two young sons. His sons, Karter and Kameron, played with the microphones at a halftime press conference.
Lowry played from 2004-2006 when the Wildcats made their first two NCAA Tournament trips of Wright’s young tenure.
"From the time I got here, he was kind of on that proverbial hot seat," Lowry said. "Now, he’s never going anywhere and he’s one of the best coaches in the history of college basketball."
Wright has since won two national titles at Villanova and was named the AP Coach of the Decade. Wright has said how Lowry skipped classes and was disruptive at practice, so much so that it got to the point where the feisty guard might not have made it to a second season. Lowry laughed when he recalled his rocky relationship with his coach.
"My freshman year, I was such an immature kid and I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know what I wanted or what I could do or what my abilities were off the court," Lowry said. "I didn’t know what I was, I didn’t know who I was. Me and Coach never talked about basketball. We always talked about these things off the court. That’s why me and Jay, to this day, have the relationship that we have. It wasn’t nothing about basketball. He didn’t worry about me on the court. He worried about me as a man."