Marshall’s NiDerrick Lewis may not be leading the Mavericks in rebounds or scoring. In fact, he doesn’t start for the Mavs, but that’s not to say he doesn’t lead the Mavs.
“He’s a great kid,” Marshall boys head basketball coach Bobby Carson said of Lewis. “He’s one of the best leaders I’ve ever had. He doesn’t start but it doesn’t make any difference. He is the team captain. You can ask anybody in the locker room who’s the team captain and team leader and they’ll tell you NiDerrick is. He leads by example. He gets here early, he works hard, and the stuff he brings to the table, you’re not going to see it in the box score. He’s a good shooter but he’s not going to score a lot of points. He has a steady influence because he doesn’t get real high and doesn’t get real low. We’ve had a talk about what he brings to the table, which is a work ethic and an example for everyone to follow.”
“I think I get things done,” Lewis said. “I can take control when asked to.”
“A couple weeks ago, he had a bad practice, and he kind of moped around a little bit, but the entire practice was bad, and we talked about it and I told him, ‘You’re not allowed to have a bad practice because everybody feeds off your energy. Everybody follows your example. You can’t do that because you’re the one everybody looks to,” Carson said.
“I’ve never been in the situation to have somebody like him who’s not a starter but is the team leader,” the coach continued. “It’s a role that he embraces and it’s a role that his teammates accept for him.”
Marshall is coming off its first district loss of the year to Nacogdoches, and Lewis is quick to point out what his Mavericks did wrong.
“We didn’t come out and force turnovers like we usually do,” he offered, adding his expectation is to “Win every game and take one game at a time.”
The senior said his greatest strength on the court is his three-point shooting and his team’s greatest strength is its defense.
He and his Mavericks own an overall record of 20-8 and a district record of 5-1. They are slated to return to action tonight when they play host to the Lufkin Panthers.
“I think they’re good at rebounding,” Lewis said before adding he looks forward to playing at home. “I love to play in front of our home fans. They cheer us on. It’s a big crowd, especially the student section, they go off.”
After high school, Lewis plans to attend Texas A&M Commerce.
“I want to be veterinarian,” he said. “I just love animals, I always have. I have two pit bulls.”
He said after he graduates, he hopes his teammates remember him, “as someone you can look up to, someone you can come to.”
That’s likely exactly how he’ll be remembered, and as a leader coming off the bench.
“I can be like, ‘NiDerrick, make sure everybody’s got their stuff,’” Carson said. “’NiDerrick, get everybody on the bus. NiDerrick, make sure all the balls are picked up.’ A lot of times your point guard is an extension of the coach. I think NiDerrick is an extension of me. He gets it done. He is invaluable but nobody knows that.”