695HOOPS WHERE IT'S ALWAYS ALL ABOUT THE GIRLS
Senior Ilysia Lewis will be graduating from St. Frances in the coming weeks. The versatile guard/forward is an outstanding student and recently signed to play at Bloomfield College. We caught up to her for a quick one on one.
695: How old were you when you started playing ball?
Ilysia: I was eight years old when I attended my first basketball camp and nine years old when I started playing for my first organized team.
695: How did you get started playing ball?
Ilysia: My dad has been coaching for over 20+ years, so I've been around the game my entire life. He put me in my first camp at the YMCA, and I remember when it ended, my coach told me I had a lot of energy and that I played great defense (which still happens to be my favorite part of the game now). I started begging my dad to find me a team to play for. He did, and I've been in love with basketball ever since.
695: Where did you grow up?
Ilysia: I grew up in Northeast Baltimore.
695: Have you played any other sports?
Ilysia: I've played soccer, baseball, tennis, volleyball, and track & field.
695: Which AAU teams have you played for?
Ilysia: I've played with the Baltimore Cougars, Maryland Sports Scholars, Baltimore Hoopsters, Maryland Elite, and Baltimore's Charm.
695: Tell me about a funny basketball road trip...
Ilysia: My favorite road trip was the Deep South tournament the summer prior to my senior year with Baltimore's Charm. The 8th, 9th, & 11th grade teams traveled to North Carolina and stayed in the same hotel together. The first night down, around 1 in the morning, my team started pulling all types of pranks on the younger girls and scared them all throughout the night. It was a lot of fun and a an awesome experience, which made that summer great.
695: Who is the funniest teammate you have had?
Ilysia: The funniest teammate I've ever had is my girl Kamya from Baltimore's Charm. There was never a dull moment with her, whether it was in practice, road trips, or even during a game. We were always laughing, joking, or dancing together.
695: What else do you do besides play ball?
Ilysia: Besides basketball, I enjoy running track, shopping, hanging out with friends, writing across all genres, and eating Chipotle!
695: What do you listen to before a game?
Ilysia: I didn't really start listening to music before games until this year, but my playlist usually included Drake and Big Sean.
695: Talk about the recruiting process and how you chose Bloomfield...
Ilysia: The recruiting process was a little challenging to be honest. I started receiving interest from multiple schools by the end of my sophomore year. When I began my senior year, it was a little nerve racking to watch all of the girls I grew up playing ball with commit and prepare to sign their letters of intent, as I continued to wait for my initial offer. However, my parents would constantly reassure me to be patient and continue to play with a chip on my shoulder. They also assured me that God would give me what was for me. By early November, I received a call from Coach Caputo, the head coach from Bloomfield College. He told me that my trainer, Coach Jimmy Price spoke very highly of me. Coach Caputo then came to St. Frances to watch me workout in person and gave me my first offer that night. I went to visit Bloomfield's campus, and it was such a family oriented environment, which made me fall in love with the school at first sight. Throughout the season, I gained a few more offers, but Coach Caputo remained in contact with me, appearing to be a genuine and sincere person. I believe he has my best interest to help me grow as a player and person, which made me select Bloomfield College.
695: Awesome. What do you need to work on for the next level?
Ilysia: I believe I need to get stronger, improve my ball handling, and my jump shot off the dribble. Basketball is a contact sport, and I enjoy playing physical. In order for me to endure the physical aspects of the game at the next level, I know that I will need to get stronger. I've also worked extremely hard to correct and perfect my jump shot, and this pass season I was able to demonstrate that. I think being able to pull up off the dribble will make me an even more dangerous guard, and much harder to defend.
695: What will you major in?
Ilysia: I intend on majoring in nursing while I attend Bloomfield.
Thank you for the interview.
695: Good luck at Bloomfield.
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