Lewis leads Rattlers to the rim

Every time the basketball fans hear the thundering “I Represent” greeting, it is the energetic, bearded senior shooting guard pumping up his teammates before the game.

Reggie Lewis, a social work student from Cleveland, Ohio, shows his leadership skills with his actions on and off the basketball court.

Lewis said he is not a big talker — he prefers to lead his team by example. Lewis advises his fellow teammates on and off the court.

“The guys on the team always give me a call if they’re going through something or if they need advice on something,” Lewis said. “I feel like I’m always the first person to call.”

Head coach Clemon Johnson labeled Lewis as the team’s leader. He has been coaching Lewis since his sophomore year.

“I think the team looks at him as a leader,” Johnson said. “He’s a quiet leader, and he will try to talk you. That’s not what you are going to pay attention to. You’re going to pay attention to the details that he provides on the floor, such as his playing ability.”

Jamie Adams, a senior guard and one of three co-captains along with Lewis, met Lewis during his college visit to FAMU. He said he sees Lewis as a big brother.

Adams said once people get to know Lewis, they will see his funny side.

“Reggie is real goofy,” Adams said. “He loves to dance. He loves to sing. He loves church. We have the same values on what we do and what we want to accomplish in life.”

Lewis will graduate summer 2014. He plans to play basketball professionally. If not, he will seek to obtain his masters degree in physical education to become a certified coach.

“I will get back into the realm of basketball,” Lewis said. “I really want to coach college athletes.”

He does not feel any pressure for his final season. He is only focused on having fun and trying to win.

“Don’t put that pressure on yourself because then you start thinking too much and you don’t perform as well,” Lewis said.

Johnson said he loves Lewis’ work ethic and has seen progression, but he feels he is an underrated player.

“He tries to overcome his weaknesses by working hard in that area,” Johnson said. “Because he knows his limitations, this is what makes him a better ball player. This allows him to become a consistent starter.”

So far this season Lewis averages 10.6 points a game. He is seven for nine on free throws.

The men’s basketball team will travel to Norfolk, Va., to take on Norfolk State University on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.