Can't row his boat: Loewe moves on from basketball to U's fishing team

Can’t row his boat: Loewe moves on from basketball to U’s fishing team

Luke Loewe always balanced basketball with his passion for catching bass, but he traded in his high tops for fishing boots after his senior season with the Gophers.

Loewe was a starting senior guard in Ben Johnson’s first season as Minnesota’s coach after transferring from William & Mary last year. And after his eligibility was up in March, he helped resurrect the U’s bass fishing club program this spring.

“I was able to play basketball at the highest level in the Big Ten for Minnesota,” Loewe said. “And Minnesota has a history of actually having a really good fishing team as well.”

Loewe worked with other students to find sponsors to restore the U’s bass fishing club team. Six years after winning a national title, the team folded due to the pandemic in 2020. They’re back up to 17 club members, but only a few of them are competing in national tournaments this year, including Loewe.

A Fond du Lac, Wis., native, Loewe and his partner, Alex Voss, finished third in a tournament hosted by the University of Wisconsin recently. But his season hit a snag when the engine on his boat exploded earlier this month. Repairs cost thousands of dollars.

“It’s completely destroyed,” Loewe said about the motor. “I’m in a tough spot because I spent all of my money on that boat. Now the cost of fixing it is pretty outrageous. Right now, I’m kind of out of commission because I can’t use my boat without a engine.”

On Wednesday, Loewe established a GoFundMe.com page to raise money to fix his boat and continue to compete in college tournaments this year. There are weekly tournaments, but the biggest competition is July 29 in on the Mississippi River at LaCrosse, Wis.

His four seasons at William & Mary were highlighted by earning All-Colonial Athletic Association second team honors in 2021. At Minnesota this season, Loewe became a 1,000-point career scorer and ranked fourth on the team with 8.9 points per game. He had a season-high 24 points in a home win vs. Northwestern.

Loewe’s fishing braces before college were just as impressive, though.

In 2013, he won the Junior Bass Fishing Federation World Championships in Shreveport, La., for the 11-14 age division. In 2015, Loewe was first among 30 competitors in Wisconsin’s Bass Federation High School Championships at age 15.

“Bass and Buckets” is the name of Loewe’s fishing YouTube and Instagram page, but he said basketball isn’t part of his life right now.

Once he graduates with his master’s degree in sports management, Loewe hopes to continue fishing in Minnesota and Wisconsin to attract enough sponsorship to achieve his dream of becoming a pro angler.

“I think it would be cool to get into that,” Loewe said. “This whole spring and summer will be fishing with the U, but then I’ll graduate. Getting into the professional side of it, there are a lot of different circuits. But you need sponsors because it gets really expensive. It’s kind of just building your resume until you can get the support to make the jump.”

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