Burlingame’s Nick Loew has always been a can’t-miss figure on the basketball court.
Since his arrival on the Peninsula Athletic League scene as a freshman, the center for the Panthers has always been one of the PAL’s biggest players. It wasn’t too long after he first stepped onto the court that his skill caught up with his size — and the two have made for one heck of a combination.
Last season, the All-League center saw his high school career reach an apex as he was the focal point of a basketball team that captured it first ever Central Coast Section title. But with the highs of victory now comes the a realization — even witha CCS championship season under his belt, Loew is perhaps in the middle of his best varsity year.
And through all those years of success, the big man in the middle of Panthers had never been about the spotlight. Surrounded by dynamic shooters throughout his career, as his senior season at Burlingame heads down a final championship stretch, Loew is playing his most complete basketball and at the same time etching his name as one of the Panthers’ all-time greats — while staying underneath the radar.
“The last couple of years, we’ve liked to have him in that low post so he’s gotten more and more comfortable with it,” said Burlingame head coach Pete Harames, who is in his second year of coaching the center. “You’d almost want him to be a little more selfish. We definitely want him getting more shots in the low post and there is no question he has been doing that the last few weeks — really asserting himself, I think. He’s going to the basket and getting fouled a lot. That’s definitely where we’d like him to have the ball.”
Loew has long asserted himself as the premiere center in the PAL South Division. Always consistent, his numbers of late suggest that he’s heating up for one final push at another CCS title. In two wins last week, Loew scored 24 points against Hillsdale and added another 16 against Mills in what was a division-clinching win for the Panthers. He did this by shooting an average of 73 percent from the floor and close to 87 percent from the free throw line.
For his efforts, Loew is the Daily Journal Athlete of the Week.
“He’s been really active around the basket lately and getting a lot to the free throw line and his rebounding is still a terrific part of his game,” Harames said. “His defense has been terrific, as well. Pretty much anyone that gets the ball down there, he’s defending them really well. And that’s been a real improvement this year. It was always good, but it’s outstanding this year.”
Outstanding to the point that he’s averaging almost 14 boards a game and nearly four blocks a contest per Maxpreps.com, while maintaining his point total at a touch under 17 points per.
“We’re a different team offensively this year and I think sometimes that takes away from (Loew’s game) because we run the floor more — where Nick was kind of the focal point last year as far as in and out,” Harames said.
Still, even without the spotlight on Loew when it comes to offensive production, the fact is, if Burlingame is going to repeat as CCS champions, its center will have to once again be the focal point of a complete team effort.
“He’s a tireless worker,” Harames said. “He’s a positive influence with his leadership. He’s an outstanding leader.”