FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The Final Four might be familiar territory for Maryland, but for Duke’s Sean Lowrie, it’s more than that.
The Duke attackman will become the first Foxborough native to play at Gillette Stadium since the stadium started hosting the event in 2008. But, he has plenty of experience at his hometown’s arena.
“I was a ball boy here a couple of years ago when I was younger,” Lowrie said. “I remember thinking I want to do this when I’m older. It’s awesome now that I’m here. It’s a little bit more special being in my hometown just about 10 minutes from my house.”
There’s always plenty of local connections when the Final Four comes to New England, but Lowrie is the first player to say he’s battling for a national title in his hometown. Last year, Walpole’s Lukas Buckley at Ohio State was the player with the closest hometown to have the opportunity to play on the big stage.
Lowrie played his high school career at Roxbury Latin before heading to Duke, but grew up playing around his hometown.
He was honored by his favorite NFL team, the Patriots, with a jersey gracing his name and #9 by team owner Robert Kraft and the organization before Friday’s practices.
The practice experience itself on Friday afternoon was exciting for Lowrie as well, growing up as a spectator of events on the field and now having an opportunity to not only pkay at Gillette, but possibly win a national championship.
“It was fun,” he said. “The day before practice is never too intense, you never want to get too tired. It was cool looking up there in the stands instead of looking down which is what I’m used to. It was just a fun atmosphere, everyone is excited and wants to play.”
While there’s plenty of excitement for Lowrie, and plenty of friends and family in the area, he hasn’t lost sight of why his Blue Devils are there and the task at hand against the defending national champion Maryland Terrapins.
It doesn’t mean he can’t take it in and enjoy it, but when the faceoff is down on Saturday, it’s all about vying for the team’s first title since 2014.
“I’m trying not to think about it too much,” Lowrie said. “I’ve been here before, so maybe a little more used to it than some people, but we’re all just excited to play.”