Sports

Lewis becomes OTE’s top high school pickup

Jalen Lewis, the No. 2 prospect in ESPN’s Class of 2023, is signing with Overtime Elite.

Lewis is the highest-ranked recruit to sign with the upstart league and is considered the top big man in the rising junior class. Lewis spurning recruiting interest from schools like Kentucky, Duke, UCLA and Michigan.

He played at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, California, and was among a group of elite prospects invited to try out for USA Basketball in June, where he measured over 6-foot-10 in shoes with a 7-foot wingspan.

“Jalen is one of the most exciting young talents in the country, and we are humbled that he has chosen Overtime Elite to elevate his professional development on the court and academically, while building his brand internationally,” Brandon Williams, OTE executive vice president and head of basketball operations, said in a release. “This is a foundational signing for our league and another acknowledgment of the need and desire for our program.”

Said OTE coach and director of player development Kevin Ollie: “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.”

Overtime Elite has raised significant capital in its push to become a real alternative for elite high school and international prospects to use as a training program, and Lewis’ signing is another indication of the traction the league has gained in grass-roots circles in the United States and internationally. The league previously announced the signings of five-star prospects Amen and Ausar Thompson in the Class of 2022 and Matthew and Ryan Bewley in the Class of 2023, as well as projected 2022 top-20 draft pick Jean Montero from Spain.

The league now has 10 players under contract and is on its way to fielding a highly competitive team to play against prep schools in the United States and teams abroad.

Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service used by NBA, NCAA and international teams.

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