A 16 year-old basketball player is set to become one of the youngest professional sportsmen in America after signing a rumored $1 million deal with a new league.
High school junior and star center Jalen Lewis – who is 6’9 tall, and weighs 215 pounds, has inked a multiyear deal with ‘transformative’ basketball league Overtime Elite, according to a report by The Athletic.
News of the deal emerged Friday. Lewis, who attends Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, California becomes the latest signing for Overtime Elite, a new league for the nation’s most promising young basketball players started by sports media company Overtime in March. It intends to target around 30 players who have potential to become future NBA stars, and is said to have signed 10 so far.
Jalen Lewis became the youngest player to sign a pro basketball contract after signing multiyear, million dollar deal with new league
‘110% Committed! OTE Let’s Rock!’ the massive 16-year-old captioned a picture of him wearing the Overtime Elite gear posted to Twitter.
Lewis, who ESPN ranks No. 2 overall for the Class of 2023, has already received offers from at least a dozen schools, including collegiate basketball powerhouses Kansas, UCLA, Kentucky Duke, and Michigan.
His deal with Overtime will forbid him from playing for his school or university.
‘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,’ OTE executive vice president and head of basketball operations Brandon Williams said in a statement on Lewis’ signing.
‘Jalen is one of the most exciting young talents in the country, and we are humbled that he has chosen Overtime Elite’ OTE executive VP wrote
Pictured: Overtime Elite Commissioner & President Aaron Ryan, President & Co-Founder Zack Weiner, CEO & Co-Founder Dan Porter and Head of Basketball Operations Brandon Williams
‘This is a foundational signing for our league and another acknowledgment of the need and desire for our program,’ he added.
The professional developmental league caters exclusively to high school student athletes, with each player signed guaranteed at least $100,000 per year, while also receiving both health and disability insurance.
And the new league has contingency plans for those players who don’t eventually get signed by the NBA, offering them up to $100,000 in college tuition costs.
However, one drawback is that Lewis’ contract causes him to ‘forfeit their ability to play high school or college basketball,’ the according to New York Times.
Overtime Elite plans on ultimately signing around 30 of the best high school players in the country, having already signed 10 players to contracts.
The professional developmental league caters exclusively to high school athletes, with each player signed guaranteed at least $100,000 per year with health and disability insurance
Lewis has already received offers from at least a dozen schools, including basketball powerhouses Kansas, UCLA, Kentucky Duke, and Michigan
The team will play against preparatory schools as well as teams abroad, AOL reports.
Lewis will be joined by Overtime Elite teammates Matt and Ryan Bewley, twin brothers and five-star juniors, both of whom became the first prep underclassmen signed by the league after signing two-year deals worth $500,000 per year each in May.
Fellow twin high school basketball standouts Auser and Amen Thompson also signed two-year contracts with Overtime Elite in May, according to Yahoo Sports.
As of July, Overtime Elite league has the nation’s top three basketball prospects from the 2023 high school class, alongside star international talents Alexandre Sarr, Nathan Missia-Dio and Jean Montero.
The league will begin its first season in September, with former University of Connecticut men’s coach Kevin Ollie as head coach and head of player development.