Sunday, June 29, 2014

MHEA basketball star Torri Lewis picks Ole Miss

Image and Article from Commercial Appeal

Torri Lewis has been a known commodity on the recruiting trail since the seventh grade. And now she’s made her college destination known.

Lewis, an all-metro performer from the Memphis Home Education Association, has verbally committed to play basketball at Ole Miss. The 5-10 class of 2015 sharpshooter chose the Rebels over several other schools, including Memphis, Florida and Louisiana Tech.

“I really like the school and I really like the girls,” said Lewis. “And coach Tom (Insell), my AAU coach, is the coach’s (Matt Insell) brother. It’s an up-and-coming school.”

Lewis led MHEA to a 33-7 record this past season and a runner-up spot in the national home-school tournament. It was at that same event a few years ago where she picked up her first offer — from Kansas State — when the Eagles played against a team led by current UConn standout Morian Jefferson.

“She’s a great ball-handler and a great shooter,” said Tracy Rice. “Her speed and agility are at a high level. She can shoot off the dribble, attack, (shoot) floaters ... really she can do it all.”
But shooting is what Lewis does best.

“Ever since I was 10, my dad and I have gotten up at 4:30 in the morning to go shoot,” she said. “He didn’t play basketball and neither did my mom. It’s been pretty consistent, about four days a week on average. We’ve never counted, but it’s probably a couple hundred shots (each session).

“(Matt Insell) has told me over and over that he needs a shooter and that’s what I do best.”

While the Eagles have been one of the area’s strongest teams for the last several seasons, there is still the notion among some that home school basketball isn’t quality basketball. Rice said Lewis’ commitment — and the attention she’s received over the years — should end that once and for all.

“It just shows if you keep the faith and keep working, you’ll get the opportunity, whether it’s home school or in a school setting,” Rice said. “Torri set the tone for individual work ethic in our girls program by putting in extra hours ... outside of practices.

“Now individual work ethic is an expectation in our program rather than just a few kids wanting to get better. We’re super proud of Torri.”

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