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Sunday, August 7, 2022

Men's Basketball

Former player stays on the move


A little more than a year ago Kelvin Lewis was playing at Hofheinz Pavilion. Since then he’s worn three different jerseys besides red and white.  | File Photo/The Daily Cougar

A little more than a year ago Kelvin Lewis was playing at Hofheinz Pavilion. Since then he’s worn three different jerseys besides red and white. | File Photo/The Daily Cougar

After making a run to the NCAA Tournament a year ago at UH as a senior, Kelvin Lewis has been swept into a whirlwind. He took his game to Europe and all the way back home again.

After playing in the Houston Rockets’ summer league in 2010, Lewis decided he would have to travel abroad to keep pursuing his hoop dreams of playing professionally.

He signed with a Greek team, Kavala BC. Kavala is located in northern Greece and has a population of approximately 60,000 people.

He learned a different style of the game, but he said he always felt as if he had an advantage over European players.

“The European game is a lot different,” Lewis said. “It’s about skill, and the rules are a little different. I felt I had a lot more athleticism and a little bit more speed than other guys.

“A lot of European guys use more skill and angle because they’re not as fast as Americans. It was different, and it took me awhile to adjust — but once I made the adjustment, I was comfortable.”

A native of Fort Worth, Lewis was expecting a culture shock when he arrived in Greece, but was surprised to learn there were no language barriers.

“Greece was pretty Americanized,” he said. “A lot of people spoke English. It was perfect weather. It was a really rustic atmosphere and like a resort city, it was right by the water.”

But his time in paradise was short-lived. He spent September 2010 there, but his playing time was brief as the Greek league went on strike, and it was time for Lewis to part ways with the team to try his luck in the states.

He returned to Texas two days before the National Basketball Developmental League draft, and was selected by the Texas Legends, an affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks.

“I didn’t know where I was going to go when the draft was happening,” Lewis said. “I figured I would be associated with the Rockets, but when the Mavericks association chose to make that move, it was a great opportunity and a blessing.”

But the unpredictable life of a semi-professional athlete involves the possibility of being moved any given day. In March, Lewis was traded to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, an affiliate of the Rockets.

Regardless of what team he plays for, Lewis is not quitting on his aspirations to play in the NBA.

“It’s not even my first year out of college,” he said. “I still have a lot to learn.”

Lewis earned his degree in health education at UH, and he plans on following the path of many former athletes by not leaving the sport altogether.

“A lot of people say it, but my dream after playing is to be a college head coach,” he said.

“I want to help young guys accomplish their dreams and goals after basketball.”

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