Lewis, Selma’s coach on the floor, has led Saints to 6A quarterfinals

Published 12:59 pm Saturday, February 18, 2017

Four years ago during a tough loss, Selma head coach Anthony Harris found out what he had in a young eighth grader that badly wanted to play.

The Saints were down big in a game at Carver High School, and the team had just walked back on the floor at halftime. That’s when Kynadra Lewis, an eighth grader Harris had moved up from R.B. Hudson Middle School’s team walked back in. Her message was clear — she wanted to be in the game.

“We were getting beat good. She waited until everybody had left the dressing room and she came back through and she said  ‘Coach I can help you,’” Harris said. “I said hold on. I’m not throwing you in that fire right now.”

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Harris said he still talks about that moment with his team, four years later.  He was impressed that an eighth grader was that ready to get on the floor and help the team.

Lewis has backed up that talk too.

Now, as a junior, she’s the primary ballhandler for a Selma team that has reached the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s 6A quarterfinals. In Friday’s win over Helena, she was the leading scorer with 22 points and helped turn the game with a 7-0 run of her own to begin the second half.

The reason this year’s Saints team figured to make this kind of run is the experience all over the roster and the closeness of the players. This year’s team has been playing together since Lewis’ seventh grade year and it shows on the floor.

“We started off when we came up to seventh grade and I think we went undefeated that year,” Lewis said of her seventh grade R.B. Hudson team, which featured a lot of the same players as this season’s Selma High squad. “We all met each other, used to hang out with each other, played basketball all the time.”

Harris calls Lewis a coach’s dream because of her work ethic.

She said she loves to practice, even though Harris works them hard.

“At practice you get to learn. He always tells us the stuff we do in practice is the stuff we are going to do in the game, so I work on the stuff in practice and when it’s game time it’s natural,” she said.

When she’s not at school or playing for the Saints, she’s playing AAU basketball or watching basketball on TV. She wants to one day play in college and Harris believes she can do it.

“She’s something else. If I had about two or three more of that type, Lord have mercy,” Harris said.

Lewis’ parents are Lekeita Lewis and Phillip Woods Jr.. She is the oldest of six siblings, two sisters and three brothers. When she was little, she used to come watch the Saints’ play.

“I used to tell my mom all the time, ‘I’m going to play for Selma High,” Lewis said.

Now the Saints sit just three wins for a state championship. Lewis knows how much it would mean for the school and community for Selma to win it all.

“It would be emotional for me. I’d probably cry,” Lewis said. “I know I’d fall in the floor and cry.”