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Duquesne's Mike Lewis says he didn't give pizza to homeless couple for publicity

Jerry DiPaola
| Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018, 8:48 p.m.

Duquesne passes out three pizzas to its basketball players after home games, but sophomore guard Mike Lewis said he barely eats one.

Last Saturday, he made sure the food didn't go to waste.

For three days prior to the game, he noticed a couple living in car near his campus apartment. He didn't know if they were homeless, but he knew for sure they needed help.

So, after the loss to Davidson at Palumbo Center, Lewis and teammate Marko Krivacevic delivered pizzas and wings to the couple.

“I do good deeds like that at least twice a week,” Lewis said Tuesday after practice.

The video of Lewis delivering the food went viral — he even heard from someone in Idaho — but he said he didn't do it for the publicity.

He did it in the hope that others will follow his lead.

“You see so many negative things these days about the NCAA and Donald Trump,” he said. “It's always something negative. I'm a very positive person.

“I want to show the young people who follow me you can help anybody at anytime. It takes two minutes of your time.”

Actually, such deeds are common for Lewis and his friends. He said when he and his girlfriend cook at home, they don't throw away the leftovers. They take them out on the street and offer them to anyone who needs a meal.

Lewis said the woman was so shocked by his generosity that she started to cry.

“She said so many people walked by throughout the week (and did nothing),” he said. “She even asked some people for help, and they just kept walking.”

Lewis is second in scoring for Duquesne, averaging 14.4 points per game. In less than two seasons, he already is seventh on the school's all-time 3-point shot list (142). His success or failure at hitting those long-range shots will be a big determining factor in the Dukes' final home game Wednesday against Saint Louis.

Still, he puts basketball in its proper light.

“Basketball is in all of our lives, but at the same time it's a game,” he said. “It's not that serious.

“If basketball would end tomorrow, it would be sad, but no one's going to die from it. Somebody could die from hunger.”

Coach Keith Dambrot said he likes the way Lewis expressed his generosity.

“Food is the best way to do it,” he said. “I like that better than money. You don't know where money is going. You know where food is going.

“That's Mike. Mike is a great kid. He's a good guy to build your program around.”

Note: Duquesne (15-14, 6-10) is in a three-way tie for 10th place in the Atlantic 10 with George Washington and La Salle. The 10th-place team gets a first-round bye in the tournament that starts March 7 in Washington D.C.

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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