Three seasons ago, Russel Low was a promising young big rookie for the Singapore Slingers. He played all 20 games in the regular season and averaged 18.0 minutes to produce 4.7 points and 4.3 rebounds. At the time, Low was only 21 years old and it seemed like he would be a cornerstone for the Slingers heading into the future.
Except during the entire 2 seasons after that, Low would make only one more appearance in the ABL. What had happened? What led a promising up-and-coming prospect that was looking like a bonafide star to be a complete no-show?
“School” Slinger’s General Manager, Michael Johnson explains. “Russel was attending University and his heavy study load made it difficult for him to fully commit last year.”
For Johnson, not to mention his Coach, team mates, and fans, should all be delighted that Low now has all of that out of the way and is ready to continue where he left off. His performance during international play at the 2017 SEA Games not only drew attention from spectators, it also inspired him to return back into action.
“I have been overwhelmed with University studies the past few years and it has kept me away from playing basketball at a high level.” Low says. “After the last SEA games, I was inspired to once again play [professional basketball] and it made me want to get better and compete.”
“However, being away from basketball for such a long time made it rather tough for me to get back in shape and tough to handle competing at this level. I am still working hard to be the best version of myself everyday.”
If Low’s efforts gets him back on track of how good he was projected to be, he will be a much-needed inside presence for the Slingers. But however Low’s return to the ABL scene turns out, both himself and the Slingers are pleased about his return. It might have been two years since Low has regularly played with the Slingers, but there shouldn’t be much that he’ll have to adjust to.
“Everyone is delighted to have Russ back in the team,” says Johnson. “He fit straight back in and it was like he never left the group.”
“It feels amazing to have the opportunity to once again represent the Singapore Slingers,” Low expresses. “I am thankful to be given the opportunity to once again play professionally and most importantly I’m excited to once again go up against the region’s best players!”
“The Slingers have always played solid Defence and we play a fast paced game,” Low says about the Slingers. “I felt that nothing much has changed with all the familiar faces and culture.
“But one thing is different for sure, everyone is hungry, hungry to win, hungry for the next championship game.”
“He brings much needed size and muscle into the team,” Johnson adds. “Russ has been training very well in the preseason and we expect him to help us on both the defensive and offensive ends and on the glass.”
However, Low will not be content with just camping down in the paint. In his efforts to become the “best version of himself”, Low has been practicing hard to add a couple of new quirks to his game.
“I am slowly trying to extend my range in the game, to take and make more mid range shots,” says Low. “Furthermore, I feel that I am more versatile and can contribute on both ends of the floor.”
“Russel has been working very hard at training and has been doing a good job,” Johnson chimes. “He is improving with every session. He is difficult to stop on the block once he gets position.”
Studies might have previously gotten in the way, but Russel Low is now back to compete in the ABL.
“The competition in ABL is amazing and I am so very excited to return back on court.” Low says. “With so many new teams joining, it makes things even more exciting. I am really looking forward to play with all these new [players]. I am thankful for this opportunity and I look to give my very best in every game.”