May 1, 2012, 10:02 AM EDT
He won’t technically be eligible for a college basketball scholarship until the early signing period of 2016, but Chris Lewis already has two verbal scholarship offers, even though he’s just 14. Both New Mexico (coached by Steve Alford, pictured) and Memphis want to be in the Chris Lewis business — they offered verbal scholarships to the Alpharetta, Ga., eighth grader on Monday. And in this day and age, one has to wonder what took them so long.
Lewis is 6-foot-7, averages more than 20 points per game for his AAU team, and is the son of former University of New York Jets Pro Bowl linebacker Mo Lewis, who also played football at the University of Georgia.
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
Colleges can’t sign players to scholarships until after their junior year of high school, but they can offer verbal commitments at will. The hope is that the player will eventually go with the college that first showed interest.
Lewis attends Northwestern Middle School, which is across the street from Milton High School, winners of the Class AAAAA Georgia state title two of the past three years.
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