A happy ending and a happy beginning?
"It's their pro team in Lawrence," added Lewis, who averaged 27.5 points and 9.7 rebounds a game his junior season for 26-12 Rummel High. "It's Kansas basketball. It's what they live for. I like that, playing before a packed house every night. Who wouldn't want it?"
Indeed. I always find it strange when the kids who visit in the Spring say such things about Kansas Basketball. I understand why Russell Robinson joined me on the field in October of 2003 as we beat Missouri in football - it was a glorious day to watch college football and Lawrence had to look a lot different from what he may have expected.
Because for our coastal betters, most of whom view Kansas as a sort of dusty plain attacked daily by tornadoes, a visit to Lawrence is like a strange dream. It's hilly, diverse and stocked with just just enough down-home country goodness to be comfortable and just enough sophistication that you won't get too many strange looks if you don a black turtleneck anytime you wax ambivalent about the guilty pleasure of eating foie gras. The weather's nice in the Spring, flat out crappy in the Summer and sometimes epic in the Fall.
And then there's the basketball, when a fifth of Lawrence's population throbs inside the hallowed halls of Allen Fieldhouse. If Dwight Lewis is impressed with KU now, his mind will boggle the first time he walks through the tunnel into the loving screams of 17,000.
"I'm a two guard, but in Coach Self's offense, all three guards are interchangeable," said Lewis, giving us yet another view of Self's little/big system. Lewis added, ""I think I can be an impact guy right from the start." His high school coach agrees:
"He definitely will be a contributor early on. He's a scorer," said Rummel coach Steve Alfonso, who compares Lewis to former Villanova player Kerry Kittles, who also hails from Louisiana. "His best asset is he has a great mid-range game. He can handle the ball and pull up quick."
Lewis is said to be a great off the dribble shooter - a penetrate and shoot kind of guy. Watch him rise up the rankings throughout the Summer. Parade considers him one of the top 6 juniors in the country, or so one might judge by their inclusion of Dwight in their this year's All-America team. If the past is any indication, he'll be playing in the McDonald's game next year - so about 11 months from now, come back for a highlight video...
Welcome back Dwight.