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Westchester, 2/15/13--A.J. Patty, (33) of St Joseph, fights for a rebound. | Vincent D. Johnson~for Sun-Times Media
Ron Lewis did not see much of the court when St. Joseph dropped a 43-42 decision to CCL North rival Loyola on Friday night.
But it would be hard to find someone who is more of presence on the Chargers roster.
A member of the Future Business Leaders of America, Lewis placed seventh in Public Speaking II at a national conference held in San Antonio. He also competed at the state conference in Decatur.
“It was amazing, that was my first year even in the club (FBLA),” said Lewis. “So going that far, my adviser told me that is not something a lot of people do. So I thank God for him blessing me and giving me the opportunity to do everything. So, by the grace of God, I did what I had to do.
“It was one of the goals of the whole organization, but I talked about strengthening your confidence in yourself.”
Although Lewis has made contributions as a basketball player, he will be remembered at St. Joseph’s for much more than athletics.
“He is an outstanding young man, he is a leader in the school and is active in student government,” said Chargers coach Gene Pingatore. “He is an ‘A’ student and he plays basketball. So that is neat when you have kids that are good students and very active and do other things. I am sure wherever he goes to school, he is going to do well.”
Lewis, who lives in Westchester, also is President of the Student Government. He wants to study business in college and he has applied to Stanford, Notre Dame, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
If he decides to play basketball at the next level, it may come down to North Central and Benedictine.
“I am not sure, because I just do not want to sacrifice my education to play basketball,” said Lewis. “I want to do both, but ... .”
Not everything comes easy for him.
“My favorite class would have to be math, just because it is the most challenging of them all,” Lewis said. “I kind of strive to challenge myself in all that I do. So, it is the hardest class, but I like it because it is the most challenging.”
Even though Lewis is not starting for St. Joseph (15-11, 7-4), he still has the respect of his teammates.
“Coach (Pingatore) has been harping on us about having a senior leader and I tried, but it is just not me,” said Chargers center A.J. Patty. “Ron is just a born leader. He does everything, it is just like he was born to be somebody to lead everybody. He is a senior, he has been through it, so they (teammates) kind of look up to him and listen to him.
“He is a real funny person, he kind of smooths out the mood for us and stuff like that. On the bus, he raps and stuff like that.”