Recently, there’s been a fuss about Chaminade graduate Mike Lewis II,
a sophomore guard on the Duquesne University basketball team.
No, he isn’t another college player who got in trouble with the law or violated school or team rules.
gave a pizza and chicken wings to a woman living in her car near his
apartment and talked with her, a gesture that was recorded and placed on
social media with an uplifting message: “Noticed a lady living in her
car the past week and did what I could, don’t just walk past people if
you can help do so #GodsPlan.”
The first comment on his post came
from someone who shamed Lewis for boasting. Others criticized the
homeless woman, pointing out that she asked Lewis if he had a cigarette
(he didn’t) and mistakenly referring to her vehicle as a luxury car,
showing an appalling lack of compassion.
But the vast majority of
comments praised Lewis, pointing out how the world and particularly the
basketball community needs to be inspired by a player’s good deeds. On
Twitter, one person said Lewis is doing God’s work and has a heart of
gold and called the negative comments despicable. It was clear by Lewis’
words encouraging people to help that he never meant to boast. He was
countering the negativity so prevalent in society today and reflected in
social media. He’s also doing his part to show there’s another side to
the widely reported misdeeds of a few athletes.
Now reporter Alan Saunders set the record straight, noting that Lewis
tries to go out of his way to help someone once a week and that a
teammate filmed the act of kindness. Duquesne head coach Keith Dambrot
praised Lewis’ character when told of the posting.
In a chat with
reporters, Lewis said that he was brought up to do good things, that he
wants to see more positive things on social media and that he was
influenced by the service hours he did at his high school. From the many
postings on his social media sites about Chaminade’s sports teams, it’s
obvious he still cares for his former school.
Ralph A. Siefert, president of Chaminade, said the Chaminade family is
extremely proud of Lewis, a 2016 alumnus. “His gracious act of caring
for someone less fortunate than himself is inspirational and is a
perfect illustration of the remarkable man that Mikey is,” Father
Siefert stated. “May his action motivate others to pay it forward
Lewis averaged 14.1 points his freshman year, leading
Duquesne in free-throw percentage at 83.2 percent as well as 3-pointers
and minutes per game. He scored in double digits a team-high 24 times.
This season, he has similar stats, averaging 14.4 points.
even better than at Chaminade, where he focused on being a catalyst for
his teammates, many of whom play or played Division 1 basketball in
college. He averaged 9.9 points on a state championship team that
included three other Division 1 basketball players: Jayson Tatum (Duke),
Tyler Cook (Iowa) and Will Gladson (Princeton). Tatum was the third
pick, by the Boston Celtics, in the 2017 NBA Draft. In the state title
game, with Chaminade leading 58-56 in the fourth quarter, Lewis hit
back-to-back 3-pointers to help give the Red Devils a lift in a 72-59
win over Kickapoo.
It’s good to see players such as Lewis follow
through on what they practiced at Catholic high schools on and off the
court. Many more good deeds never come to light, and that’s fine. But
it’s helpful when someone such as Lewis serves as an example for all of
Kenny is a staff writer for the Review and a member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Oakville.