HAZEL GREEN, Ala. (WAFF) - Hazel Green could soon be home to a first round NBA draft pick.
Former Trojans standout and Alabama sophomore point guard Kira Lewis Jr. announced Tuesday that he will forego his final two seasons of college eligibility and keep his name in the 2020 NBA Draft. Lewis, who is projected as a mid-first round pick, will look to become the 16th player in program history to hear his named called in the first round of the NBA Draft.
“My continuous prayers are with our world during these uncertain times as we experience the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lewis said through his social media post. “For as long as I can remember, playing in the NBA has always been a dream of mine. I am truly thankful for the love and support shown by my coaches, teachers, trainers, teammates and fans. To my parents: Thank you for always believing in me and being in my corner no matter the circumstances. I would like to thank the University of Alabama staff – present and former – for allowing a kid from Meridianville, Ala., to live out his dream of playing college basketball. Lastly, to all of my supporters: Y’all have made this a memorable experience and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Lewis was on of the premier guards in the Southeastern conference and the country.He was named First Team All-SEC, and a two-time SEC Player of the Week. He led the Crimson Tide in scoring (18.5 ppg), assists (5.2 apg), steals (1.8 spg), minutes (37.6 mpg) and field goals made (206) and attempted (449) this past season.
“We are excited for Kira and his family,” Alabama head coach Nate Oats said. through an Alabama Athletics release. “Whichever team drafts Kira will be getting a special player. He’s the fastest kid from one end of the floor to the other that I’ve ever coached. The NBA has gone to a game of pace and getting up-and-down, so I think he fits the direction the league is going. He is a great kid who wants to be in the gym and get better. I think he’s going to help a team. The fact that he’s only just turned 19 years old and has played two years of college basketball gives him a high potential. I think someone will take him in the first round, and I’d love to see him go as high as possible.”
In two career seasons in Tuscaloosa Lewis, started all 65 games across his freshman and sophomore seasons, collected 1,013 points (15.9 ppg), 260 assists (4.0 apg) and 84 steals (1.3 spg). He became just the second Alabama men’s basketball player in program history to eclipse 1,000 points for his career.
The NBA Draft will take place June 20, 2020.