Jalen Lewis becomes youngest player to sign pro basketball deal
Five-star basketball player Jalen Lewis, 16, has become the youngest prospect in U.S. history to turn pro, signing a deal with Overtime Elite, per multiple reports.
The Overtime Elite professional league made headlines in May by signing twin brothers Matt and Ryan Bewley. The league, funded by sports media company Overtime, aims to offer kids an alternative to NCAA enrollment as they transition to professional basketball.
The 6-foot-9 power forwards from the Class of 2023 are also five-stars.
Lewis, a 6-8 center set to graduate in 2023, held offers from Kansas, Kentucky, Arkansas, UCLA and USC, among others. He was the No. 12 composite ranked recruit in the country, per 247sports.com.
Former UConn head coach Kevin Ollie, who serves as the coach of Overtime Elite, told ESPN: “I’d describe Jalen as an absolute difference maker, a rare talent, with a combination of size, athleticism, good hands and ball skills that impact plays on both ends of the court. There are no limitations to what he’ll be able to do in his career and, through Overtime Elite, he’ll have the resources in place to help him reach his dreams.”
Lewis, like the Bewley brothers, is being compensated more than seven figures, per reports, and each loses his high school and college eligibility by signing with Overtime Elite.
The roster of players on Overtime Elite is now up to 10. They’ll play games abroad and against prep schools in the states.
–Field Level Media