SE: Lewis Emerges as Key Component On, Off the Court
Breanna Lewis may have a lot of weight on her shoulders entering her junior season, but she doesn’t seem to mind.
The junior forward from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has grown in her game and has gained confidence and skill in the offseason, and with the Wildcat women’s basketball season just around the corner, she is ready to get back on the court and show fans what she’s made of.
“Bre had a great summer. Her skillset continues to get better and better,” said K-State head coach Jeff Mittie. “There is no question, when people see her they are going to see a different player in terms of her footwork; they are going to see a different player right hand, left hand. I think she is poised to have a big year.”
Lewis was recently named to this year’s Preseason All-Big 12 Team. The only Wildcat to receive the honor this season, it marks the first time in Lewis’ career that she has been named to the preseason team and follows a stellar sophomore campaign where she broke the K-State record for blocks in a season with 97.
“It was very exciting, I wasn’t expecting it at all,” said Lewis about receiving the preseason recognition. “It’s a great thing to have, and it gave me confidence to know that other people acknowledge that I am a good player, not only my coaches and teammates. Knowing other people think I am a player worthy of the preseason mention, it adds a lot of confidence.”
Lewis enters the 2015 season coming off of a breakthrough sophomore campaign where she started all 33 games and registered career highs in every statistical category. She led the Wildcats last season in scoring (11.5 points per game), rebounding (6.4 rebounds per game) and blocked shots (2.9 per game) and became the first player in K-State history to record 300 points, 200 rebounds, 90 blocks and 50 steals in a single season.
At 6-foot-5, Lewis is among the Big 12’s top post players and will be looked to as a key component on the Wildcats’ offense this season.
“She’s made drastic improvements; it’s night and day,” said junior guard Kindred Wesemann. “During our freshman year, Bre was supposed to be one of our main scorers, but now that it’s our junior year, she has to be one of our main scorers. She’s the main point of our offense. Every time we pass her the ball, she goes and shoots it. She’s pretty confident in herself and we’re all pretty confident in her too. When she goes to shoot I know it’s going in.”
While it’s obvious Lewis is a key component on the court for the Wildcats, she is also looked to lead off the court as well this year. As one of the squad’s few upperclassmen, Lewis has taken on the role of a team leader.
“I’ve embraced being a leader,” said Lewis. “I’ve accepted the fact that I’m a junior now and I have weight on my shoulders with the newcomers. It’s something I’m getting used to day by day. I’m learning from my mistakes and teaching the younger players along the way.”
Lewis is a lead-by-example type. Her teammates look up to her for her work ethic, and though she has a loud game, she has a quiet personality.
“Lew is our behind-the-scenes leader,” said sophomore guard Shaelyn Martin. “She leads by example in her post play, but then when she does make a comment you know it has a purpose. She doesn’t say things just to say things, if she makes a comment you know it’s important. I think that’s what’s great about her, she says what needs to be said."
This season, Lewis is coming into her own. She’s grown as both a player and a person since the Wildcats last stepped on the court to compete in Bramlage Coliseum, and she is ready for whatever lies ahead.
“I feel like by far my growth is internal this year,” said Lewis with a smile. “In prior years, when I stepped on the floor, I didn’t have as much confidence in myself which affected the way I played. Now I feel like I’m more confident. My confidence level has gone up and that’s helped the way I play and the way I think about the game. It’s shown me what I’m capable of.”
K-State women’s basketball will begin its 2015-16 season with a pair of exhibition games on Monday, Nov. 2 against Washburn and Monday, Nov. 9 against Pittsburg State. The Wildcats will begin non-conference action on Friday, Nov. 13 at Tulsa. For season or single game tickets, contact the K-State Athletics Ticket Office at (800) 221-CATS or visit www.kstatesports.com/tickets.
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