Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Colorado State Catches Big Kish in a Small Lincoln County Pond

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Colorado State Catches Big Kish in a Small Lincoln County Pond

Article excerpt

Kish Lewis was a big fish in a small pond in Lincoln County, where he set a host of scoring records for the Troy (Mo.) High basketball team.

But he was a big catch for Colorado State University of the Western Athletic Conference.

"He's a great player," Colorado State athletic department spokesman Jim Miller said Tuesday.

Through 11 games heading into tonight's home contest against San Diego State, Lewis is averaging 13.5 points and 7.3 rebounds. In a 79-75 nonconference victory over Western Michigan last Thursday, Lewis scored a career-high 23 points, including a dunk that stopped an 8-2 run by the opponent. He also grabbed 11 rebounds.

Lewis, 6 feet 7 and 215 pounds, had scored in double figures in all of Colorado State's games until Monday night, when he was held to two in a 96-74 WAC victory over Hawaii.

But Lewis grabbed eight rebounds, including five on the offensive end, and blocked three shots.

This season, he has 23 blocked shots, which already ranks him eighth on the school's single-season chart.

He has had two double-doubles, including 19 points and 11 rebounds in an 86-64 win against Arkansas State.

He's second on the team in minutes, and "I'm sure no one has ever started the first 11 games as a true freshman" for Colorado State, Miller said.

Coming out of Troy, Lewis wasn't unheralded. Twice, he was an all-state selection - after his junior and senior seasons.

He captured Post-Dispatch All-District and All-Metro honors two years in succession, and was an all-Gateway Athletic Conference pick three times.

But Lewis toiled in virtual obscurity for Troy, a community situated along U.S. 61 in Lincoln County, some 60 miles from St. Louis.

Few in the city knew of his enormous talents, save for those who competed with Lewis on a popular Amateur Athletic Union team, the St. Louis Eagles.

He played with standouts such as Jahidi White, Antonio Rivers, Demetrius Alexander and Corey Frazier, but was saddled by injuries.

"He was one of our go-to players," said Rich Gray, Eagles president. "We knew we could depend on Kish to score or get fouled and score at the free throw line."

Interest in Lewis among major colleges was lukewarm, Gray said.

"One of the problems with Kish was every time there was a window of opportunity for schools to scout him during his junior or senior summers, he was injured," Gray said. "He either had a broken wrist or a broken foot. …

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