Jim Lewis steps into the storm

November 7, 2013

Despite the controversy surrounding the resignation of former head coach Keith Brown, the Georgetown women’s basketball team looks forward to an upcoming season with high prospects for success.

“We’re very optimistic because we’ve assembled a very outstanding group of young women who are learning how to work together and put them in positions where they can be effective,” interim coach Jim Lewis said.

On Oct. 2, Georgetown placed Brown on leave after players reported him for unprofessional conduct and inappropriate language. Brown resigned from his post on Oct.10. The University did not comment about how the team would be moving forward in the wake of Brown’s resignation.

The University named Lewis the interim head coach on Oct. 24. He’s worked as a collegiate head coach before, for George Mason’s women’s basketball team from 1984 to 1987. He then served as the first head coach of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics in 1998, before spending time on the coaching staff of the Indiana Fever, the Minnesota Lynx, and the Los Angeles Sparks. While he will be considered temporary until tournament time, the University will review his interim status at the conclusion of the 2013-2014 season.

With the first game of the season against Richmond set for this Friday, the team is excited to see how Lewis will operate during game time.

“Coach Lewis came in and he’s done a great job,” senior forward Andrea White said. “We’re learning new offenses and I think everyone is excited about this season.”

One challenge Lewis faces is the lack of experience on the team. Of the 11 players currently on the roster, only two players, co-captains White and Samisha Powell are not either sophomores or freshmen.

“Yes, we are a young team,” Lewis said, “[but] we have two outstanding seniors, Samisha Powell and Andrea White, who have just been named co-captains. They’re going to help lead us to the kind of success we expect.”

Moreover, Lewis has confidence that the younger players will be able to shoulder a heavy load this season.

“The [four] sophomores and the five freshmen are all very capable of playing at this level and they’re going to be thrown right into the fire because we’re a little short with some injuries,” Lewis said. “Nonetheless, they’ve conditioned themselves well and we continue to grow in knowledge, confidence, and ability to execute and play really championship-level basketball. These freshmen will grow up very quickly. We’re excited to see the growth for the entire team this season.”

White realizes the role she and Powell must play as the leaders of this relatively young team: “I have to be a leader on the court and off. … I have to be more vocal and lead by example so they can learn from me.”

And Jim Lewis is just the man for the job. With his dedication to individual growth and the players’ dedication to team growth and cohesion, these Lady Hoyas are in luck.


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