Friday, May 4, 2012

CHRIS LEWIS: One 8th Grader...Two College Scholarships!!!

CHRIS LEWIS: Class of 2016

Written by: Michael Carvell & Prospect-Central

Another 8th grader, another college scholarship.  If you're reading this article, chances are you're well aware that more and more middle school baller's are earning scholarships before they ever play their first game of high school basketball.  What you may not know however, is that 6-foot-7 Chris Lewis didn't just receive one scholarship offer on Monday...the 8th grader pulled in two!!!

After watching Chris Lewis play for the 15U Georgia Stars this past weekend, New Mexico's associate head coach Craig Neal and Memphis's head coach Josh Pastner offered the 8th grader a scholarship.  Since he's an athletic fourteen-year-old, who just happens to be 6-foot-7, I'm pretty sure these are just the first of many more to come.

Chris Lewis will certainly be tested very early in his high school career.  The native of Atlanta, Georgia, will attend national powerhouse Milton Academy (Milton, GA) for his freshman year. How much he plays will ultimately be up to head coach Milton Boyd, but judging by his game, he might receive a decent amount of playing time.

While Chris Lewis may have a very bright future, he definitely has some big shoes to fill.  His father was an NFL Pro-Bowl linebacker who played 13 seasons with the New York Jets.  And lets not forget...Mo Lewis did this!!!  Say "Thank You" Tom Brady. * Below is a short video from ScoutsFocus of Chris Lewis playing AAU ball followed by an article from the Atlanta Journal detailing his two scholarship offers.

You don’t see this every day.
Two major-college basketball programs offered basketball scholarships on Monday to a middle schooler who is only 14 years old, is an eighth grader, and has yet to play in a high school game.
The young phenom is Chris Lewis, a 6-foot-7, 190-pound forward who has a mighty athletic pedigree: His father is former UGA football star Mo Lewis, who was an NFL Pro-Bowl linebacker and played 13 seasons for the New York Jets.
After watching the young Lewis dominate in an AAU tournament over the weekend, both New Mexico (coached by former Georgia Tech guard Craig Neal) and Memphis offered extra early scholarships on Monday. Lewis plays for the Georgia Stars under-15 AAU team.
“They love the fact that he’s 6-7 at 14 years old, and has been playing at a high level on the AAU circuit for the last three years. He has an outstanding athletic pedigree with his father’s football accomplishments.“Craig Neal was first, and then the next thing I know I’m hearing from Josh Pastner at Memphis,” Milton High School coach David Boyd told the AJC.
“I have been waiting for that first offer to arrive…and it finally came today. I knew it was coming because Chris is that good, has that much upside and that much potential.”
Why on Earth would a college make a verbal offer to a middle schooler? More than likely, to gain an inside advantage later down the road. In Lewis’ case, much later – like the early signing period of 2016.
“You never know, we had two guys this year that ended up signing with the first school that offered them,” said Boyd, referring to senior swingman Evan Nolte (Virginia) and guard Shaq Johnson (Auburn), who just might be the best high school dunker...EVER!!!
Lewis is already a playground legend. He averaged more than 20 points per game at Northwestern Middle School, which is located right across the street from Milton, the Class AAAAA powerhouse that has won two state championships in the last three years.
This past summer, Lewis – before he even started classes in eighth grade – posted several double-doubles in points and rebounds in scrimmages against much older players from Milton’s eventual state championship team.
“I think he has a great chance to start for us as a freshman, and that tells you a lot,” Boyd said. “He would’ve played a lot for us this past season if the GHSA rules allowed an eighth-grader to play on our high school team. He’s that good. In middle school, he was dunking all over the place with both his right and left hand. That’s something special about Chris; he has an uncanny ability to use both of his hands very well.”
Boyd, who has coached for 28 years, said Lewis will be his first player that got a D1 offer as an eighth grader.
Who will offer next? Boyd is guessing it could be UGA or Georgia Tech because of his father’s connections and both being local schools. Original Article.

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