Tiffany Lewis knew she wanted to live in Atlanta. She just needed a reason, or an opportunity, to do so.
Georgia State provided both.
The East Hamilton guard committed Thursday to continue her basketball career at the Atlanta school. She is the first Lady Hurricanes basketball player to have an offer from a NCAA Division I member in their three-year history.
Lewis averaged 15.3 points and 2.9 steals last season for the Lady 'Canes, who made their second consecutive Class AA sectional appearance.
"I went on my visit and liked it a lot," she said. "I loved Atlanta and wanted to live there.
"I need to work on my dribbling some, but they needed a shooter and I know I can bring that to the program."
Lewis, who plays AAU ball for the Georgia Hoop Stars, said she also was being recruited by UNC Greensboro, Middle Tennessee State, Kennesaw State, Mercer, Campbell, Furman and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
The Lady Panthers will move to the Sun Belt Conference beginning in 2013. They finished 8-22 this past season with only one senior.
Lewis hopes to lead the Lady Hurricanes to the state tournament in her final high school season.
"It's been big to be able to be a part of these last couple of teams, but my goal is to go to state," she said.
Coach Derek Morris has sent players to the NCAA Division II and III levels, and he's pleased to have one going to Division I.
"Obviously, Tiffany has been a three-year starter for our program," Morris said. "She's been our leading scorer and a main component on a team that's advanced to the sub-state two years in a row. I've seen her maturity as a player and a person. In high school, she's always the most athletic player on the court, or close to it. She's going to have to adjust to the speed of the game, but she's more than capable of that.
"It's quite exciting to see a player going to a Division I school. It says a lot about the work ethic of these kids, and their ability to come together and play together for a new program."