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Inspiring story behind Tyler Lewis’ breakout game for NC State

Feb 3, 2013, 2:35 PM EDT

Tyler Lewis AP

NC State was without point guard Lorenzo Brown due to injury Saturday vs. No. 14 Miami. In his absence, the Wolfpack looked to freshman Tyler Lewis, who had played just 38 minutes through the first eight games of ACC play.

He would be asked to nearly equal that total Saturday, playing 36 stellar minutes and almost leading NC State to a win. A tip-in in the final seconds by Miami’s Reggie Johnson would keep the Hurricanes undefeated in league play, but Lewis’ 16 points, five assists, and just one turnover kept the Wolfpack in the game when they needed it most.

But it wasn’t necessarily his on-court performance that is most impressive. Instead, it is the set of circumstances leading up to the game that give reason for applause.

As detailed in a story in Sunday’s Fayetteville Observer, Lewis played with a heavy heart Saturday, less than 24 hours after the death of his 83-year-old grandmother. He decided he would play Saturday, dedicating the game to his grandmother and grandfather, the man whose words motivated him to remain in Raleigh and take the court against Miami.

“I knew what I had to do out there,” Lewis told the Observer. “I had to prove (myself) to all the people that hadn’t seen me play this year. After this, I think I proved a lot of people wrong.”

To read the story in its entirety, click here.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

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