After being sidelined for a year, Lewis is ready to take over

Photo by Azam Lalani | The Signal

Whenever or wherever Jada Lewis steps on the basketball floor, she is one of the best players on the court, and the numbers back it up.

The 2016-2017 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year was set to make her mark on the league the following season, but her season came to a screeching halt.

During a loss to Mississippi State, Lewis injured her foot in what would end up being a season-ending injury.

“When I got injured it was, of course, a rough time for me,” Lewis said. “It was devastating because I love basketball. I also wanted to be out there to help my teammates, and just knowing that I would be out the entire season, it was pretty hard. But I found a way to turn it into some[thing] positive.”

During her freshman campaign, Lewis averaged 11 points per game, and 13 during Sun Belt Conference play.

Lewis was set to take on a larger role with the team, as she would have been the primary scoring option.

“I felt bad because Jada is the type of person that works hard and she really wants it,” junior forward Shaquanda Miller-McCray said. “I know how she really feels about basketball, so to see her sitting out and going through that, I know it was a tough time for her.”

Although she preferred to play on the court with her teammates, Lewis not only learned more about herself but also the game of basketball.

There are a lot of things on the court that a player may not notice until they’re forced to sit out. Lewis was able to get a different perspective and it should help herself and her teammates.

“Sometimes you see your teammates and their body language might not be the greatest, and you think in your mind, ‘Okay when I get back out there and I have the opportunity I’m going to make sure that my body language is better than it was last year,’” Lewis said.

“Or if I’m doing bad I’m going to make sure that I keep my head up because you see how it looks,” Lewis said. “So you just try to do everything that you can to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes that you see other people doing.”

As hard as it may have been for her to work through her injury, Lewis’s return to the floor was a constructive period. The biggest area she grew in as a teammate was her communication skills.

“I think you can always bring something to the game whether you’re on the court or off the court,” Lewis said. “So that’s what I try to do.”

Rehab has gone well for Lewis, and she will be on the court with Georgia State on opening night, Nov. 7, as the Panthers host East Tennessee State at the GSU Sports Arena.

“I’m excited. It’s going to be my first time playing again in a year,” Lewis said. “So, I’m just happy to be out there with my teammates and I’m just ready to play with them.”

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