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Recharged: Lewis to coach ELCA girls' basketball team

By Anthony Rhoads

Everything has come full circle for Selena Lewis.

Lewis, whose maiden name is Baldwin, was one of the top high school players in the area when she was at Jonesboro and then went on to star at Georgia Tech.

After college, she went into coaching but after starting a family, she put basketball on the backburner.

Now, she is getting back into the game as she has been named the head coach of the Eagle's Landing Christian Academy girls basketball team. Lewis has been at ELCA for three years as a math teacher but she's looking forward to taking the reins at the private school in Henry County.

"I'm very excited," Lewis said. "I had to take time off for my kids and I wanted to get back into it. The timing couldn't be better."

The Lady Chargers struggled in their first season of competing the Georgia High School Association, winning just one game while playing in Region 5-A.

"I think we're going to start over next year and start over from scratch," she said.

She said the young players will be key in building a successful program at ELCA.

"We have several juniors and we're going to have a good group of ninth graders," she said. "We have a good group of up-and-coming eighth graders. They're real excited about it; that's going to help a lot."

Lewis coached at Mt. Vernon Academy (which is now Whitefield Academy in Mableton) from 1993-95, Lake City Christian School from 1996-97 and Pace Christian School from 1997-99.

"We are excited," ELCA athletic director Scott Queen said. "We are definitely excited about having her as our new varsity girls basketball coach."

At Jonesboro, Lewis helped lead the Lady Cardinals to a 17-6 record in 1988 and a 21-3 record and a final No. 5 ranking in the state in 1989. She averaged 21.3 points per game in 1988 and 18 points per game in 1989. While Lewis definitely could put points on the board during her high school career, her game was not just about scoring points. In one game against Henry County, she dished out 20 assists.

She won many accolades during her prep career including being named the Clayton County Player of the Decade for the 1980s and the Z93 Player of the Year in Georgia in 1989.

"It was just real exciting and I had fun playing at Jonesboro and I enjoyed the recruiting process," she said.

Lewis went on to play for Georgia Tech from 1990-93 and helped lead the team to one of the most successful eras in the history of the program. In 1992, the Lady Jackets won the WNIT and in 1993, they made their first appearance in the NCAA tournament.

"Being able to play at a Divison I school like I did at Tech was great," she said. "I think playing that kind of basketball and to be competitive there was great. I just wish were had been a WNBA then; maybe I would have played longer."

In her senior season of 1993, she led the team in 3-point percentage and assists while averaging 13.8 points per game.

She still ranks in the top 10 in several career categories at Georgia Tech including free-throw percentage, 3-pointers made, 3-point attempts, 3-point percentage, assists, highest assist average and steals.

"It was exciting to be able to play at that level," she said. "It's neat to look and see that I'm still in the game programs. I can show my kids that their mom played college basketball."

Basketball runs in her family as her brother Cory Baldwin played at Jonesboro and Lake City Christian School.

Baldwin went on to play at Clayton State and is now an assistant there for head coach Gordon Gibbons.

Her cousin Clint Satterfield also played at Jonesboro and helped lead the Cardinals to a state playoff berth in 1988.

Satterfield went on to become head boys basketball coach at Henry County High School.

"I've been playing all my life, ever since I could walk," she said. "I was pretty much the only girl in the family and I played sports with them. Now, we get together every Thanksgiving and we play up at Henry County."

Having her family involved in coaching helped her stay in basketball even when she wasn't actively involved in the game.

"Even after I took time off from coaching, I still went to games and my kids went to my brother's camps," she said. "It's kind of nice to have a brother who coaches at the college level and a cousin who coaches at high school, especially since they're both at local schools and I can keep up with their careers."

Baldwin said he is glad his sister is getting back into coaching.

"I'm very excited for her," Baldwin said. "She's played basketball all her life but got out of it for a while for her kids. She stayed a part of it as a fan and it's great she can get back into coaching. I'm excited for her."