Nate Siow Has Just One Speed -- Fast Forward
ANDOVER -- Nate Siow is in perpetual motion on the hardwood.
Lowell High’s rising junior guard possesses the playmaking principles that enable him to control the tempo of a game with his ball movement.
Siow emerged as one of the best floor leaders in the MVC last winter, an unassuming pointman who is equally adept at attacking the basket or pitching passes to teammates.
On a Lowell roster loaded with standouts, most notably Alex Rivera, who graduated from LHS as the school’s all-time leading scorer in boys basketball, Siow was an integral component with his ability to create offense on the go, and as a shutdown defender.
He averaged 13 points, six rebounds and six assists a game and was an MVC All-Star as a sophomore, helping Lowell post an 18-5 record. Siow and his Red Raider teammates have spent the past few months working hard at building off last season’s success.
“Based on what I’ve seen this summer we can be really good again this year,” said Siow. “Our team plays fast. What gets us going is our defense. We’re always pressing and creating turnovers. Our offense comes off that. It’s tough on teams when we press on the defensive end. We get our momentum from what we do on defense. That’s what gets us rolling.”
Lowell returns four starters, Siow, Carlos Nunez, Justin Villanueva and Rashawn Settles, as well as, Deven Okowuga, who got considerable playing time. So the speedy Siow, who stands 5-foot-8 and weighs 140-pounds, will have plenty of familiar options at his disposal when running a fast break.
“I’ve been playing with these guys forever,” said Siow, who played on Lowell’s varsity as a freshman. “We have a lot of fun. We all played at the Boys Club. We all know how each other plays, so it’s kind of easy to come together as a team.
“It’s been pretty good the past couple years. But we haven’t reached our ultimate goal of a state title. Until we do that, none of us will be satisfied. I think this year we have a real chance. The pieces are there to have a special season.”
Siow’s all-out attack mode approach to running Lowell’s offense has paid major dividends this summer at leagues in Westford and Hoops for Hope in Andover. The months of June, July and August are when high school teams lay a foundation for the upcoming season and find their leaders. And Siow has provided a veteran presence.
“I’d say the area he’s probably grown the most is his decision making,” said Lowell coach Bobby Michalczyk. “He’s been excellent this summer. He’s done a great job of finding his own shot and knowing when to get the ball to someone who has an open shot.
“His shot has gotten much better. If he can become a knock down shooter from the perimeter, he’ll become almost unguardable. He’s just so fast. You really can’t press him and stay in front of him.”
Siow’s hands are as quick as his feet. He runs low to the ground and this allows him to come away with lots of steals. He’s at his best creating turnovers and transitioning them into points.
“His size is deceiving,” said Michalczyk. “He’s very versatile. I didn’t even realize until the end of the season he was getting like six rebounds a game. He tracks down everything.
“And he’s a nightmare to try and go by on offense. Defensively, he’s incredible. He’s a pain in the butt. Him and (fellow guard) Carlos (Nunez) are just outstanding defenders.”
Siow was at his best in last year’s state tournament. He scored 15 points, all in the second half, in a win over Lynn Classical. Siow also tossed in 15 points in a loss to Everett in a Division 1 North semifinal.
“I was an X-factor,” said Siow. “Teams really didn’t know me. I snuck up on them.
“I consider myself a playmaker. I like to get my teammates involved. But when I’m open, I’m going to take the shot.”
Siow’s decision making gives Lowell a shot to win every time the Red Raiders take the floor.
“He has great quickness,” said Michalczyk. “He always had a pretty good handle. We want to get the ball in his hands and let him run things. He makes things happen.”
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