Loyola player recalls childhood with NBA player Austin Rivers
1,000 Points for Lovaglio
Published: Friday, January 25, 2013
Updated: Friday, January 25, 2013 12:01
At the Battle of Freret Street, business junior Robert Lovaglio had a fan who may know a thing or two about basketball: NBA shooting guard Austin Rivers.
Rivers is in his rookie year with the New Orleans Hornets. He said that he has been close with Lovaglio since they were children.
“I grew up with him. I’ve known Rob since I was like 6 years old. He’s been one of my best friends since,” Rivers said.
Lovaglio is from Winter Park, Fla.. Rivers moved there after his father, Doc Rivers, became the head coach of the Orlando Magic. Lovaglio said that their mothers became good friends while Lovaglio and Rivers played basketball together.
“We first just started out as family friends, we played on each other’s team forever. When my parents went out of town for the weekend, they would send me to the Rivers’ house,” Lovaglio said.
The duo went on to play high school basketball together at Winter Park High School. They won the state championship in 2010, Lovaglio’s senior year. According to reports from the final, Rivers led the team with 23 points while Lovaglio added 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Though they live in the same city, Lovaglio said Rivers is very busy with his NBA schedule. However, Lovaglio said that he and Rivers keep in touch and Rivers gives him tickets when he can. Rivers said that when his schedule permits, he comes out to support Lovaglio and the Wolf Pack.
“I try to make as many games as I can of his,” Rivers said.
The two continue to be big fans of each other’s game. When asked if he could lock down Rivers better than most due to knowing his play so well, Lovaglio responded with a laugh and “absolutely not.”
“He could tell me what he’s about to do and there’s no guarding it. He’s that good. He’s the real deal,” Lovaglio said.
After the game against Tulane, Rivers described his friend as the best player on the court. He feels that Lovaglio can bring the Pack to great heights this season.
“Robert’s talented and can finish at the rim, and if he leads them the right way they have a chance to do big things,” Rivers said.
Karl Gommel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org