By Andrew Wroblewski
A star basketball player for Half Hollow Hills High School East has signed on with a Division I hoops program.
Savion Lewis, a senior at Hills East, signed his National Letter of Intent on Monday in Wheatley Heights, his hometown, inking his commitment to Quinnipiac University. He’ll be headed to the Connecticut school next fall on a full scholarship where he will suit up as a member of the Bobcats.
“They showed me a lot of love. They’re like a big family,” Lewis said of the culture at Quinnipiac. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Lewis, who had been recruited by more than 20 Division I schools before committing, will join a Bobcats squad that competes in the NCAA’s Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and is headed up by coach Baker Dunleavy, who won a National Championship last year as a member of Villanova University’s coaching staff.
“He’s been at the highest levels, he’s seen it all,” Lewis said of his future coach. “To play for a coach who knows what it takes is truly a blessing.”
Lewis, who tentatively plans to major in business, added that another factor in his decision was the coaching staff’s push to ensure he also “succeeds outside of basketball.”
Before he gets there, however, Lewis is gearing up to hit the court with the Thunderbirds for his senior season.
Hills East is set to play a few scrimmages and a tournament ahead of the Thunderbird’s Dec. 19 season opener at home against North Babylon.
The Thunderbirds, Lewis said, are eager to get back to work after last season, which was one of the best in the program's history, yielding league, Suffolk and Section XI championships. Sadly, the season ended with a grueling one-point loss to Westbury in Long Island’s Class AA championship.
Lewis and his teammates, many of whom will return from last year’s squad, want to avenge that loss. “We were one point away last year. ... We’re so hungry [to get back to the championship]," Lewis said. “We want to win it all.”
Lewis, who compares his playing style to that of NBA player Chris Paul, averaged 19.8 points per game as a junior. He also earned All-League, All-Conference, All-County, All-State and All-Metro accolades, and was named to the Final Four All-Tournament team.
This year, standing at 6-foot-1 and looking to expand his game, including by improving his three-point percentage, Lewis wants to take his game to the next level.
“I’ve put so much work in. I think I can get Gatorade Player of the Year,” he said.
Lewis added, “I’m going to take it step by step. I want to finish this season strong. Once it comes time for me to head to Quinnipiac, I’ll be ready for that. But for now, I’m going to be focusing on my team and helping us achieve our goal.”