Coach Jim Lewis Guest Speaker for Inmate Program
Longtime basketball coach and Alexandria native Jim Lewis was the featured speaker during a recent program for inmates at the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center. On Tuesday, May 20, Coach Lewis, who served as the interim head coach for the Georgetown women’s basketball team last season, addressed approximately 75 inmates in the gym and shared a motivational message encouraging audience members to maintain faith, to find their own gifts and then to “pay it forward” by helping others.
Drawing on his experiences a player and a coach, Coach Lewis also explored aspects of race, sports and society. He discussed the importance of Earl Lloyd, a star player who had preceded him at Parker-Gray High and broke down racial barriers in the NBA, in his basketball career and as a model for him to follow both on and off the court. He talked about his own efforts to help and guide young players, following the example Earl Lloyd had set for him.
Coach Lewis answered questions from the audience and then invited four inmates to join him for a brief demonstration of the double pick and roll, showing how they could work together as a team to achieve a goal.
In addition to his Georgetown position, Coach Lewis has served as the head coach of the Washington Mystics and the women’s basketball teams at George Mason and Fordham universities. He has also been an assistant coach for three other WNBA teams and for several men’s college teams, including Duke. Coach Lewis holds a master’s degree in physical education from Tennessee State University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from West Virginia University, where in 1965 he became a member of the first racially integrated basketball team in the school’s history.