Amy Lewis has never been big on cruise control. She’s fast, athletic, and is more likely to carve her own path than follow a well-worn track. She also used to drive more than 2500km from Townsville to Ballarat in a manual car with no cruise control to study teaching in the basketball off-season.
It is this focus and determination that is impossible to miss when you talk to Lewis about her vision for the future of women’s basketball in Queensland.
“I do hope they bring another national level team back to Brisbane,’’ Lewis says. “The junior girls need to be able to see the pathway to that next level and they are missing out. They don’t have players that they can aspire to at that next level. They have to move. Which is not easy as an 18-year-old. So I’d love to see a team on that level. And I’d like to get on board in one way or another.”
Lewis, 31, grew up in Hamilton, Victoria, before moving to America to play college basketball at Troy University in Alabama. She graduated in 2004. After returning to Australia, Lewis played in the Women’s National Basketball League for the Townsville Fire (2008-10), Adelaide Lightning (2010-14) and the ill-fated SEQ Stars in Brisbane (2015-16).
“Ten months into my two year contract the team went into voluntary liquidation. At that time, I was already teaching full-time and I realised that I didn’t want to leave again. Then I came on board with Brisbane and have been playing here ever since.”
Career highlights have included being part of the Opals squad selection and tour of China in 2013 and being named Halls Medalist (Most Valuable Player) for Adelaide in 2014.
The Queensland Basketball League (QBL) welcomes Lewis to her third season with the Brisbane Lady Capitals this year and the veteran shooting guard is keen to start, with a new coaching team led by Bronwyn Marshall and new players.
“We’ve got to play scrappy,’’ she says. “Dive on everything. Try to get deflections, just really be disruptive to throw the opposition out of their games.”
Under strength and conditioning coach Stewart Briggs, Lewis says the girls are fit and ready for a tough season.
“We’ll be playing the same style of up-tempo basketball. It’s still a very exciting brand that we’ll be looking to play: fast, running transition. We’re a shorter team, I’m 177cm and we’ll be playing girls who are taller but we are very fast. We want to create a track meet out there with our style of play. With our fitness we should be able to run the other teams off their legs.”
While her partner, French-born soccer player Anthony Sarramea, is a great fan of her signature one bounce jump shots, it’s the kids at Bulimba State School who follow the professional triumphs of their PE teacher with great pride.
“They google me when I’m playing away,’’ Lewis says. “I’m trying to get a basketball program going at that school. Soccer is the number one sport, but I’m determined to raise the profile of basketball.”
The Brisbane Capitals Women’s QBL Team play their last pre-season game at NAB Stadium, Auchenflower on Saturday, April 21st. Admission is free to all.
The QBL season commences Sunday April 29th, with an away game vs Gold Coast Waves. The first QBL season home game is scheduled for May 12th at NAB Stadium vs Ipswich. Tip-off at 5pm. Admission: Adults $10.00, Children under 16 $5.00 and Brisbane Capitals junior representative players are free.