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Q&A with Kalvin Lewis

Brittney Byrd
Coach Lewis serves as one of the lower school physical education teachers, and he is also the upper school head varsity basketball coach and assistant track and field coach, giving him a unique opportunity to mentor students of all ages. This year, the varsity basketball team earned their spot in the State Final Four, making school history with a 31-4 record. 
You work with students of various ages, allowing you to continue to interact with the same students as they grow. Have you witnessed any students become leaders over the past few years? What made these individuals stand out or gave them the confidence to lead?

I enjoy having the blessing to work with students of different ages. Watching them grow and learn is amazing. I definitely see many different personalities and talents. I have seen students who have grown into leaders. I believe what helped these students have the confidence to lead, is the confidence they receive from their community around them. I see so much support for each student. This support makes a big difference.

In what ways do you help prepare athletes for life beyond the court? What expectations do you set for them?

When I was a kid, I was told: 'Basketball is life and life is basketball.' That phrase had such an impact on me that I wanted to teach this when I became a coach; I wanted to teach life through basketball. I try to help each player in our program learn and develop who they are as people first which will then be shown when they play. A lot of what we talk about in our program are foundational things to help build a strong “core” spirituality, physically, mentally and emotionally. 'A house built on sand will soon fall, but the house built on rock can withstand even the harshest conditions.'

What prompted you to have the basketball teams volunteer with the organization Lunches of Love?

Lunches of Love is non-profit organization in Fort Bend County that is committed to helping end hunger by providing a free nutritious sack lunch to children. The basketball program was looking for opportunities to help our community anyway we could. A parent, Mrs. Ostera, came to us with the opportunity of volunteering with Lunches of Love. We are just blessed to have a chance to help our community.

Did working together in the community impact team dynamics on the court?

Definitely, we grew closer together through our volunteer opportunities. We were able to have a lot of quality time together having fun, lots of laughter and helping our community. This chemistry was brought onto the court. The closeness and togetherness has helped them grow through the challenges they have faced as a team, and as a team they have overcome many challenges.

What is your favorite pump-up song right now?

Well, my co-worker, Coach McGivern and I have been hard at work getting ready for Rodeo Day, so I definitely will go with "Saturday Night In Abilene" (one of our routine songs) as my pump up song right now.

Do you have a motto that you live by or repeat to your students and athletes?

'Success is a Process.' There are plenty of people in the world looking for the “secret” to success, but all we need to understand is that it is a process. It is continual growth through learning moments and experiences. With the right approach, perspective and drive. We are all capable of success. Whatever you want to do or be, don’t be afraid of failure in it. Give it a try, do it, be consistent. Work hard and do your best.

Working as a teacher in an elementary school means you are a minority among female coworkers. In what ways do you help the young men on campus understand and demonstrate biblical manhood?

I definitely believe quality time and being able to get to know each young man personally makes the difference. When you get to know them and they get to know you, it helps a lot when it comes to teaching and helping them learn more about God, themselves and life. Mr. Toliver and I also have the chance to take some of the older boys out for mentoring time. We try to talk about topics that will help them transition to middle school. I think they benefit from this a lot. I try to be there for them whenever they need me. Elementary, middle school, or high school, doesn’t matter. I want them all to know I’ll be there for them if they ever need help or a good laugh.
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