American import John Lee Lewis Jr is prepared to do his bit for Shepparton Gators and help take them to the next level.DAMEN FRANCIS April 3, 2014 4:10am
It’s a long way from Louisiana to Shepparton, but John Lee Lewis Jr is hoping to take his game to another level with the Gators.
John Lee Lewis Jr’s head may be in the clouds, but his feet are placed firmly on the ground.
While the 203
Lewis, 22, played in 95 games in three seasons at the NCAA division one outfit, before finishing up at the end of season 2012-13.
However, he started in just one game in his senior year on a roster that included the likes of highly-regarded guards Raheem Appleby and Kenyon McNeail.
His idol is Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, not because of his talent, but his work ethic.
‘‘(At LTU) we had a lot of good scorers and guys that will go on and play at a higher level than I will,’’ Lewis said.
‘‘I was really an energy guy and a role player. You just have to do anything you can to get minutes on the floor.
‘‘It all depends on the style of play and how you fit into certain teams, but you see guys go overseas and blow up and I’m hoping to be one of those guys.’’
Shepparton is a long way from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where Lewis was born and raised.
Lewis came to Australia last year as part of a Eurobasket Summer League tour, which pitted the visiting team against various SEABL and Big V teams to showcase the players’ talent.
The tour ended in Albury, where he caught the eye of coaching staff at Albury-Wodonga Bandits and it was only as a victim of circumstance he ended up in Shepparton.
‘‘They wanted me to stick around until their import got here, I think he was having a few problems with his visa,’’ Lewis said.
‘‘I only trained with them for a day before he showed up. After that I made some phone calls and ended up getting in touch with (Greater Shepparton Basketball Administrator) Tony (Long).
‘‘Of all the teams that showed an interest, Shepparton seemed like the one that wanted me most.’’
Lewis hardly set the world alight on his Gators debut at the weekend, but the production — 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals — was respectable and is almost certain to improve.
It was his first game since the end of the tour nearly a month ago.
At more than 100
Lewis sees few differences between the level he was playing in the US and that played in Victoria, including the gap between SEABL and Big V.
While happy to do his bit for the team, he is aware his size, experience and skill set mean people are looking at him as the player that could take the Gators to the next level.
‘‘Back home a lot of guys go and play overseas and they tell me the same thing, that there is an expectation that you bring things to the team, so I had that in mind when I came over here,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m here to fit into the puzzle and I’ll play whatever spot (Gators coach) Russ (Parker) puts me in.
‘‘I’m playing with a group that plays really hard and everyone is eager to jump up a level and that’s my aim as well.’’
St Mary of the Angels Secondary College Year 8 student Kelsey Hislop has taken out the junior public speaking award at Shepparton’s Legacy House.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons defeated Corowa Rutherglen Roos by 76 points at the JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
WITH volatile commodity markets, soaring costs for inputs and water prices not going down, life on the land right now is a little tough to take.
DES Church is bringing something he loves to Rochester.
Gift fundraiser is looking for toddler talent.
Local export Willie Wheeler dominating at VFL level
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
THE Heathcote Community will come together once again to honour the memory of car accident victim Georgia Edsall-French at a memorial day this Saturday.
Katamatite Lions Club held its 42nd annual handover dinner at the Boosey Creek Tavern on July 13.
Mathoura endured a harsh hammering to its playing confidence on Saturday with a 24-goal thrashing at the hands of Deniliquin Rovers.
SPC will abolish its internal sales team and reduce executive numbers in the latest chapter of the company’s ongoing restructuring.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.