ALTON - Alton Lady Redbirds combo guard Alyssa Lewis has been dreaming of playing basketball overseas before she ever stepped foot on a high school court.
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In November, she officially made that dream a reality, committing to the Rome City Institute in Italy to continue her education and basketball career.
For her achievement, Alyssa Lewis is an Auto Butler Car Wash Athlete of the Month for Alton High School.
“It’s amazing,” Lewis said after a 77-13 win over Hazelwood West Saturday afternoon.
“It’s always been my dream, since I was in the eighth grade, so to get that opportunity, I didn’t think much about it (before committing).
“Obviously, I looked into the logistics of everything, but to live out my dream and to officially commit to it, as early as I did, some people don’t get a chance like this in their whole life. So I’m extremely grateful.”
Alton head coach Deserea Howard remembered Lewis talking about wanting to play overseas when she joined the Redbirds as a sophomore.
“To see that come to fruition for her has been really cool, and it just shows the girls that whatever your goal is, if you fight for it, you can get it.”
Of course, there’s work to be done still for Lewis and the Lady Redbirds.
“All I’m focusing on now is just leading, and being the best leader I can be for my team,” she said on Saturday at the Lady Redbird Tip-Off Tournament.
Lewis credited coach Howard for improving her “basketball IQ”, making her a better player since joining the Lady Redbirds.
“As a player, I’ve built my IQ to another level,” Lewis said. “Coach Howard has developed me into a new person, a new basketball player.”
Lewis hasn’t had to lead Alton’s attack on her own, despite her ability to effortlessly drain shots from beyond the arc. She and guard Kiyoko Proctor have formed a duo that’s been hard for the best of teams to stop.
“She’s looking for me, I’m looking for her,” Lewis said. “To have somebody like that takes the weight off my shoulders.”
Lewis is the lone senior on the Lady Redbird team, and before heading abroad, wants one last memorable season at Alton High.
“We’re going to keep our composure, we’re going to keep our heads up,” she said. “We’re going to focus on one game at a time.”
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