Lewis Motivated To Silence Doubters

CHICAGO, IL -- Standing at just 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, Tyler Lewis may not look like a McDonald's All-American.

Standing at just 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, Tyler Lewis may not look like a McDonald's All-American.

Put Lewis on the basketball court with any opponent, any size, and he'll prove to be one of the nation's best prospects.

"(Lewis) had a terrific senior season," said Evan Daniels, a national recruiting analyst for Scout.com. "Oak Hill doesn't play a soft schedule. He really proved himself on a big stage against a lot of big opponents."

It's a big task for the undersized point guard to battle with the nation's best high-school players, and will only become more difficult as Lewis moves on to North Carolina State, where he'll likely be counted on as the Wolfpack's floor general.

Lewis doesn't shy away from his critics. He uses the skepticism as a catalyst.

"I basically use the doubters and haters as motivation," Lewis said. "I know how good I am and I know how good I want to be."

For what Lewis lacks in size, he makes up in hard work. He spends hours in the gym, working to fine-tune his game.

"Nobody in the country works harder than I do day in and day out," said Lewis. "Especially with my size, if you put anybody else in my size, I think I could be the best player."

Lewis showcased his tremendous talents during the Sprite Jam Fest skills competition on Monday night, when he dominated with a 31.2-second finish, taking first place in the men's contest.

"There's a lot to like about Tyler Lewis and how creative and crafty of a player he is," said Daniels. "He is a tremendous ballhandler, a guy that really developed his jumpshot and mid-range game."

Prior to his senior year, Lewis transferred to basketball powerhouse Oak Hill Academy, a school which has produced names such as Carmelo Anthony, Brandon Jennings, and Rajon Rondo, among others. He led the team to a 44-0 record, with 38 of those victories coming by a double-digit margin. Lewis averaged 19 points per game during his senior campaign. He became a national name, and people began to take notice of the highly-skilled point guard.

"I think it starts with his passing ability and how smart of a player he is," said Daniels. "He's on top of his game from an IQ standpoint. He clearly works, too, and his game has proved that he's fearless."

Lewis has never backed down from a sizeable challenge. Many have questioned whether the undersized guard can compete at a high level. He became one of the nation's top-ranked prospects, earned more than 10 scholarship offers, and won a state championship.

His most recent accomplishment, becoming a McDonald's All-American, is further justification that Lewis can compete with anyone.

"It has always been a goal of mine to be a McDonald's All-American," said Lewis. "It's just a dream come true. Whenever your goals get reached, it's just a big honor."

Pack Pride Top Stories