Savion Lewis, the speedy point guard who guided Half Hollow Hills East to its first Suffolk boys basketball championship, signed a letter of intent on Monday night to play at Quinnipiac.
Lewis, a Newsday All-Long Island first team selection last season who averaged 20.3 points per game, is expected to be a cornerstone of the Division I program under new coach Baker Dunleavy, a former Villanova assistant. Dunleavy hired former Hofstra and Fordham head coach Tom Pecora as associate head coach.
“The coaching staff was amazing,” Lewis told News12 Varsity at Monday’s signing ceremony in Dix Hills. “They made me and my family feel like we were one big family, together. That was a huge thing for me.”
Another huge thing on Lewis’ agenda is to improve on last season’s finish. The Thunderbird lost to Westbury, 61-60, in the Long Island Championship game, barely missing out on a trip to the state tournament in Binghamton. With most of the team back, including his backcourt partner Julien Crittendon, a second-team All-Long Island choice, Lewis said, “This season’s going to be so much fun. I know I’m already committed and now all I want is one thing. I want that LIC.”
The 6-foot Lewis led Hills East to a 21-5 record and came up big in the playoffs. He scored 16 of his 28 points in the county semifinal against Brentwood, and contributed 19 points, seven assists and three steals in the thrilling county final against rival Bay Shore. “My teammates trust me and they know I’ll come through in the clutch. I’m a winner,” Lewis said after the Bay Shore game. “I love the open court when it’s just me and the other guy.”
Usually, the other guy is a step behind. “He’s a winner,” Hills East coach Peter Basel said on Monday night. “He’s been with us for years now in the program and he’s taken us to new heights.”