By Nadia Isaac
Special to Tidesports

The college basketball road is difficult to navigate, but University of Alabama guard Jordan Lewis found a way to prevail through hard work and determination.

Lewis, a junior who will lead the Crimson Tide into Thursday’s first-round SEC Tournament game against Georgia in Greenville, South Carolina, began playing basketball when her family finally settled in Florida. She started off just playing for fun and was soon convinced otherwise by her high school coach.

“I did not take basketball serious at first until my coach told me that she sees potential in me. That is when I started taking it serious,” Lewis said.

After getting series, Lewis played high school basketball and AAU basketball as well.

That sparked a dream for Lewis to play on the collegiate level.

As her dream started to turn into a reality, she thought about what kind of college she wanted to attend. She ultimately decided she wanted to attend an SEC school due to the competitive nature of the teams and the educational opportunities.

“Coach (Kristy) Curry believed in me from the first day I was here,” Lewis said. “I thought it was important to be a part of something where somebody believes in you.”

During her freshman season Lewis started 36 games and ranked fifth in the SEC for assists, averaging 4.3 per game. This season, Lewis led the team as the starting point guard and averages 13.1 points and 3.7 assists per game.

Unfortunately, Lewis sustained a wrist injury in the middle of the season that set her back a little bit. However, on Jan. 20, she managed to become the 29th player in program history to surpass the 1,000-point mark.

“A team feeds off of the energy of their point guard,” Curry said. “She has done a great job of leading her team and working hard on and off the court.”

Lewis works hard on the court, but she also is gets things done off the court. Last week the SEC office named Lewis the league’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She becomes the first player in program history to earn the honor. She received this honor by maintaining a 3.76 GPA.

Lewis was also added to the SEC Community Service Team and named CoSIDA for the second year in a row.

The Florida native is working on a master’s degree in business administration after graduating with a bachelor’s in marketing in August.

“Not everyone gets to do what we do. This is a very tough thing to do,” Lewis said. “Not everybody gets the chance at this opportunity. I try to play hard because you never know when it’s over. I think it is important to take advantage of the opportunity.”