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Athlete of the Week is Half Hollow Hills East's Savion Lewis

Savion Lewis #3 of Half Hollow Hills East

Savion Lewis #3 of Half Hollow Hills East drives to the net during a non-league varsity boys basketball game against St. Raymond (Bronx) in the Gary Charles Hoop Classic at Adelphi University on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. St. Raymond defeated Hills East by a score of 82-72. Credit: James Escher

When many high school students are still hours away from waking up, Savion Lewis has already developed a sweat.

The Half Hollow Hills East standout guard can be found in the gym working out, putting up jump shots and perfecting his ballhandling skills at 4:30 a.m. After varsity practice, his day isn’t over. Lewis is back at the gym, saying he spends six hours a day playing basketball.

Lewis’ tireless work ethic has driven him to a Long Island leading 34.9 points per game, according to games reported to Newsday, including a school-record 50 points in a January 21 victory over Chaminade. He followed that two days later, scoring 40 points in a win over Huntington, including his 1,500th varsity point, to be named Newsday’s Athlete of the Week.

But when Lewis is rising before the sun, the Quinnipiac commit isn’t just doing it for himself. He’s doing it for those that have helped him along the way.

“I’m doing all of this to really give back to my family as well,” Lewis said. “I want to make it big for them. Just seeing my parents put the work in for me and making sure I have clothes on and everything like that, I just want to give back for them.

“I’m really going to try to work my butt off, wake up in the morning and make sacrifices. The typical thing that kids don’t do nowadays and just try to be great.”

It’s hard to argue with the results.

The senior has the defending Suffolk AA champions off to a 14-2 start, including 11-0 in Suffolk III. Lewis has scored at least 40 points in five games, including his 50 against Chaminade and a 40-point effort in a loss to Long Island Lutheran, and has scored at least 30 points in every game except two.

But Lewis isn’t concerned about personal achievements. Even with his school records, scoring 1,000 varsity points in the season-opener this year and reaching 1,500 less than two months later, his mind is focused on one thing.

“I guess you could say I’ve done a lot for the Hills East basketball program with these individual accomplishments, but that’s only going to mean so much,” Lewis said. “I want to be able to say that this year’s team was able to get Hills East a Long Island championship ring.”

The Thunderbirds came about as close as possible to a Long Island title last year, losing by one point to Westbury in the final. That game is in Lewis’ mind whether he’s standing with a basketball at 4:30 in the morning or 4:30 in the afternoon. And he’s determined to do all he can to reverse Hills East’s fortunes.

“His work ethic is just tremendous,” coach Pete Basel said. “He’s a gym rat. Any time he’s not at home, he’s probably in a gym somewhere working out.”

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