16-year-old Jalen Lewis signs with Overtime Elite professional basketball league
Jalen Lewis, a rising star of Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland and one of the top-class prep basketball prospects of the 2023 class, will give up his final two years of high school and become one of the first players to signing with a new league that promises big sums of money for the best young talent in the country.
Lewis, a 247Sports-rated 6-8, 215-pound post player, broke the news on social media shortly after his first announcement by The Athletic. His contract with Atlanta-based Overtime Elite, which says he will start playing in September, is said to be worth more than $ 1 million over several years. At 16, Lewis would become the youngest professional basketball player in American history.
110% committed! OTE Let’s go! pic.twitter.com/o8mGRgesqQ
– Jalen Lewis (@jalenlewiss) July 9, 2021
Lewis played Bishop O’Dowd for two seasons alongside Cal-linked Marsalis Roberson under coach Lou Richie. As a freshman, Lewis helped lead the Dragons to the NorCal Open Division Finals before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. He was named to Bay Area News Group Fab 25 after his sophomore season this spring.
Overtime Elite has been chasing Lewis since at least early spring. From the start, Richie has tried to convince him to stick around and get his degree, including trying to lure him in with exclusive media access this fall.
Lewis made it official on Friday. After signing the professional agreement, he is no longer eligible for the California Interscholastic Federation, the state’s governing body for high school sports.
Lewis is the third player the league has signed in the class of 2023, alongside Matt and Ryan Bewley, a pair of five-star twins from Florida, whose deals are said to have been worth $ 500,000 a year.
Kevin Ollie, the former Connecticut men’s coach, is the head coach and director of player development.
All players with OTE are guaranteed an annual salary of at least $ 100,000 and receive full health care coverage, according to the league. Players also receive injury insurance and up to $ 100,000 in tuition if they quit professional basketball, according to the league.
In the classroom, players will be taught one-on-one or in small groups by individual instructors, depending on the league, which says it will “complement a traditional course offering by emphasizing the skills of life, including financial literacy, media training, and advocacy and sports, and the business of basketball.
This is breaking news. Check back for updates.