PHILADELPHIA (AP) - When Villanova officials first contacted Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry about making a $1 million donation to his alma mater, he was skeptical.
"A million dollars?" Lowry recalled saying.
When he found out the money would be used for upgrades to the Pavillion, the facility where he spends the offseason working out, he quickly came around.
"If I wasn't there every day, if I wasn't around the players and using the facilities as much as I do, it would be a little different," Lowry said. "But this place I call home. I'm literally here all summer, so it was easy."
The school announced the largest donation by a former Villanova basketball player on Monday, a few hours before the Raptors faced the Philadelphia 76ers in Lowry's hometown. Villanova's locker room will be named after Lowry, who spent two seasons with the Wildcats before leaving for the NBA as a first-round pick of the Memphis Grizzlies in 2006.
"It's not about the money, it's about family," Lowry said. "I'm able to give back to this great university that helped me get to where I am: 31 years old, three-time All-Star, wife and kids, married. I know it's crazy, right?"
Villanova coach Jay Wright attended the announcement at Wells Fargo Center, where the top-ranked Wildcats are playing this season while their home court undergoes a $60 million renovation.
"Kyle has done so much to make us proud," Wright said. "A generous gift like this is really impactful to the entire university, to all athletes."
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