The Elizabeth City State women’s basketball team made history by winning their first CIAA Championship title under head coach Tynesha Lewis; earning them a spot in the NCAA Division II Tournament.
During the post-game press conference head coach Tynesha Lewis talked about manifesting this championship before the team even left North Carolina for Baltimore.
In October of 2022, the Vikings unveiled their brand new $150,000 locker room. As part of the locker room decor, the team wanted a mural-like wrap for the back of the lockers to highlight historical moments.
How does this relate to Elizabeth City State winning the championship?
Well, before heading to the CIAA tournament Lewis instructed the staff to leave the back of the lockers blank, because she wanted to wrap the lockers with championship pictures from a tournament they had yet to play
“The back of the lockers needed a wrap and I specifically told them to leave it blank because we wanted the [championship] picture we took out there on it. We spoke it into existence, they walked it and here we are,” said Lewis to the media.
Last year, ECSU found itself the CIAA championship game but walked away without the trophy, falling to Lincoln University.
This year, Lewis understood she had a team with a “we” over “me” mentality, and believed in the history they were about to make.
“This is for the Elizabeth City State University. They deserve it, everything ECSU has gotten, they got it out of the mud. Nobody gives us anything; we earned it, we fought for it, we dug it out, and now we are here and God knows I am grateful,” said Lewis.
Tynsha Lewis understands the grind of both perseverance and hard work.
During her collegiate years at NC State, Lewis helped lead her team to the 1998 Final Four and an appearance in the 2001 Sweet Sixteen.
Tynsha Lewis then went on to be the 31st pick in the 2001 WNBA Draft landing in Houston with the Comets.
From there she played six seasons in the WNBA:
Houston Comets (2001 -2003), Charlotte Stings (2003-2005), and Minnesota Lynx (2005-2006.) Lewis would also go on to be the assistant coach at NC Central for three seasons.
Now in her third season with Elizabeth City State, Coach Lewis is confident that she has a team willing to do what it takes to be successful both on and off the court.