That’s doctor Kyle Lowry to you.
The Toronto Raptors’ legendary point guard received an honourary Doctorate of Humanities from Nova Scotia’s Acadia University over the weekend. He took part in a virtual ceremony for the university on Sunday, delivering a spirited speech to the class of 2021.
In media interviews leading up to the ceremony, Lowry mentioned that he will only respond to his new title, “Dr. Lowry.” When asked what he would be a doctor of, Lowry replied: “Dr. of Greatness.”
Lowry’s commencement speech, however, took a much more heartfelt tone. He thanked his family, former coaches, and all the people along the way who helped him become the NBA champion, All-Star, and now doctor, that he is today.
“I’m a kid from North Philadelphia, one of the toughest places in America to grow up. And I’m going to be honest with you, according to the statistics, I shouldn’t be here with you today,” he said. “I grew up in a rowhouse in 20th and Lehigh with me, my mom, my brother, my grandmom, and my cousin. A place where you needed to be in the house when the streetlights came on just to avoid the gangs, the drugs, the shooting, and all the violence that went on. Basically, the hood.
“Over the time, I had to slowly learn how to adapt and adjust in my way of thinking to allow other people to help me.”
In a statement, Dr. Peter Ricketts, Acadia’s president and vice-chancellor, said Acadia is honouring Lowry for his role in rallying Canadians during the Raptors’ epic 2019 NBA championship run, as well as his role in founding the Lowry Love Foundation with his wife Ayahna Cornish-Lowry.
“Lowry and his wife, Ayahna Cornish-Lowry, are committed to improving the lives of the disadvantaged in Toronto and Philadelphia to help them experience a better quality of life,” Dr. Ricketts said.
“Together, they set up the Lowry Love Foundation, a charity that gives back to community.”
Lowry capped off his speech by giving his new title a whirl.
“Yours truly, Dr. Kyle Lowry. Sounds even better when it’s official,” he said with a chuckle. “Acadia University 2021, congratulations. We The North.”