Less than a month after receiving an offer from John Calipari and the UK coaching staff, 2023 five-star forward Jalen Lewis has announced he will bypass the remainder of his high school career and forgo his college eligibility to sign a multi-year deal with the Overtime Elite professional league.
Travis Branham of 247Sports was the first to break the news.
2023 five-star prospect Jalen Lewis has decided to bypass college and his remaining high school career to join Overtime Elite, sources told @247Sports. || Story: https://t.co/QUbxO6F6hb pic.twitter.com/B9jKBwcy9V
— Travis Branham (@TravisBranham_) July 9, 2021
Lewis, listed as high as No. 2 overall in ESPN’s latest 2023 recruiting rankings, held offers from Kentucky, Arizona State, Arkansas, California, Kansas, Stanford, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC and Washington before turning pro.
He received his offer from Kentucky back on June 16, with the 6-foot-9 forward telling Jason Jordan of Sports Illustrated that UK was one of seven schools recruiting him the hardest to go with Michigan, North Carolina, Arkansas, California, USC and Stanford.
— Jalen Lewis (@jalenlewiss) June 16, 2021
The five-star forward becomes the tenth player to sign with Overtime Elite, joining five-star standouts Amen Thompson, Ausar Thompson and Matt Bewley, along with the likes of Ryan Bewley, Jean Montero, Alexandre Starr, Nathan Mississippi-Dio, Emmanuel Moldonado and Jai Smith. Born in 2005, the 16-year-old forward is now the youngest prospect ever to turn pro in America.
He previously averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per game for Bishop O’Dowd in Oakland this past year.
“I score and all that, but I also wanted to show my playmaking ability,” Lewis told Sports Illustrated following USA Minicamp in June. “I feel like I’m really versatile and I can create for my teammates; I feel like that’s what makes me standout the most. … I just have a different mindset and I feel like my game has grown a lot over the last year. I’m excited to be able to show what I can do (this summer).”
With Lewis now off the board, UK’s lone offers in the class of 2023 include five-star guard Elijah Fisher and five-star forward J.J. Taylor.
On to the next.