Tyrone Lewis(I Always Played For The Name On The Front And Not On The Back)

Tyrone Lewis is a 24 year old 180cm point guard from Levittown, Pennslyvania that recently announced his retirement. He played at Niagra(NCAA) from 2006-2010 playing  a total of 120 NCAA games. In his senior year, he played 27 games: 17.1ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.7apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 38.6%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 75.4%. In 2010-2011, he was a rookie with  Maccabi Be’er Ya’akov (Israel-National League): got injured just after arrival and missed the season. Last season, he came to Germany and played for SC Itzehoe Eagles (Germany-Regionalliga, starting five): 22 games: 26.0ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.3apg, 3.0spg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 59.3%, 3Pts: 29.4%, FT: 74.6%. This season, he was going to play in the German PRO A for the Finke Baskets Paderborn, but decided to retire. He spoke with German Hoops about basketball.

You recently signed a contract with the Finke Baskets, but instead of being at practice today, you walked your niece to the bus stop. Is this the perfect example of how life can take unexpected turns?

Yea I guess u can say that but that’s life. Getting hit with unexpected turns I’m no stranger to but it’s how we over come those things is what matters. I had to make a decision I thought was best for me and my family. I was just doing my uncle duties lol

You are a 24 year old 180 cm guard in tip top condition, but recently announced your retirement from professional basketball after only your second professional season. How diffiuclt was it to make this decision?
It was very hard basketball was my life and my way of living. I will always love the game and miss it. Basketball was good to me and it open up a lot of doors in my life.

For so many young players it is a huge challenge to come overseas as well an adventure. Did you just miss the States too much or what were the main reasons for hanging up your sneakers so early in your career?

Lol no I wasn’t home sick I’m used to being away from my family of course I miss them but they know and I know it’s part of the business. My choice for leaving the game early is a personal choice. It is a challenge to come play overseas because it’s not like playing for your high school team or college because this is a business the americans come over there and y’all expect us to be the best players on the floor every night and we have no room for error one bad game or injury could be the end of our career there is no loyalty it’s hard to play looking over your shoulder every night.

The Finke Baskets Paderborn where you were headed to had had some turbulence this past summer. Money problems, a new owner and name came. Where you possibly a bit unclear how your future could be in Paderborn with all the problems the club had had in the past?

I knew nothing about their past history which is crazy I didn’t know any of that. I like I said it was a personal reason why I left

You had a stellar NCAA career at Niagra where you were a MAAC tournament winner and MVP as a freshman in 2007. Coming in as a freshman were you a bit surprised at the end of your freshman year how much individual success you had considering that team had very talented guys with Clif Brown, Charron Fischer and Benson Egemonye?

I was a little surprised because as a freshmen you want come in your first year and do well kind of set the tone for your career. It didn’t hurt having great teammates around me to take all the attention off of me.

How much fun was dishing the ball to a Clif Brown that season? What was your sweetest memory with him on and off the court?

It was a lot of fun playing with Cliff. He was a machine on the court worked hard every day. Best moment on the court with him watching kill it in the play in game he had 33 that night. Off the court its to many. Cliff is a different man of the court lol

You had Joe Mihalich as head coach all four years. How did he make you better as a player and person on and off the court?

It was a blessing to play for him. He gives u this confidence where you believe you can do anything on the court. He brings the best out of you. Off the court just watching him live his life the right way he was a true leader and father figure to me and he always talked about playing and living your life one way and he didn’t just preach it he lived it

You played in the NCAA and NIT tournaments. When you look back on your NCAA career, which was the biggest challenge you had against a player that might be in the NBA or in Europe now?

Playing against that great Kansas team as whole. I believe that starting 5 all got drafted

How would you like people to remember the basketball player Tyrone Lewis most?

I want people to remember that I played the game the right way and for the right reasons and I always played for the name on the front not the back and that I was a class act

What is next for Tyrone Lewis? What kind of new career are you striving for as a retired professional basketball player?

My second love and that’s helping young people giving back because you owe it to them.

How has basketball in general shaped you to being the man you are today?

Basketball did it. In a lot of ways like being responsible learning how to handle your success and failures

Your uncle John Lewis was a corner back for the Buffalo Bills in 1987. What is your favorite story that he told you that has always stuck with you?

The one thing my uncle told me that will always stick to me is he told me to never take a day off because its someone out there in the world working harder

You come from Pennsylvania. What are the chances that either the Eagles or Steelers will bring home a Superbowl championship in 2013?

Hope neither one of them win I’m a cowboys fan but they are both really good teams and their chances are pretty good

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Think like a man. A very funny movie.

Thanks Tyrone for the chat.

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