Leader Chats with Scottie Lewis

Leader Johnson spoke recently with Class of 2019, 5-Star prospect, Scottie Lewis and shared his interview as a special to VUSports ...

Players like 2019, 5-star shooting guard Scottie Lewis don’t come along often … with his grace when he flies through the air, his style, the determination on his face … plus he has worn #23 which only resembles one man, Michael Jordan. 

I have seen many players compared to Jordan but Lewis is cut from his skin tissue and is not even 18 years old yet.  He is dominant and by the time the 2020 draft comes around, I think he will be No. 1.

From Ranney High school in talent rich New Jersey comes a 6-5 phenom who is ready to take the world by storm …

Leader Johnson: What's up Scottie last time I talked to you I asked “how is school doing” and you said “I have a 3.3 but I have to do better” …that just sums you up right there - good is not enough, huh?

Scottie Lewis: I mean think about the NBA. Everyone is good because they are there … but then you have the MJ’s, the Kobe’s, and the LeBron’s of the NBA who refused to be just good.  They wanted to be great and that’s my mindset I have because I don’t just want to make it there want to get to the NBA and change it I want to start a legacy to where 20 years after I retire my name is in the conversation of the greatest players to play the game of basketball at the highest level.

Leader Johnson: How was your basketball season - what were your averages and how did your team do?

Scottie Lewis: This season was great. My team and I went 24-5 before losing in the Semifinals to The Patrick School only by a couple of points - which is a huge accomplishment in my eyes.  I never really cared that much about my stats but I think a had a great sophomore year. This year I learned that it’s hard to turn “IT”  on and off so i have to work hard every time my Under Armour shoes touch the hardwood and treat every moment like it is my last because I realized that one day it will be.    

Leader Johnson: How close are you and Bryan Antoine and are y’all a package deal?

Scottie Lewis: I keep “my circle” small and I can easily say Bryan is one of my best friends. We are like brothers. On the outside looking in people call us the “Dynamic Duo”, but to us we are just brothers.  We basically grew up together we have known each other since 6th grade when we first played against each other.  When we became teammates we clicked.  Bryan and I pretty much have the same offers and we talk about being a package deal all of the time. We made a list of schools we would go to together and schools we wouldn’t go to together.

Leader Johnson:  Chemistry will take you a long way.  Great to see two young men with your togetherness and you bring it on the court...What are your top schools?

Scottie Lewis: I’m not really focused on that right now.  I have two more years of high school which means i have two SCT to win, two TOC to win, and two UAA Championships to win and that’s my focus until it is time for me to decide where I would like to attend school.

Leader Johnson:  You and Bryan are two of Villanova's top target’s in 2019.  How high is Villanova on your list?

Scottie Lewis: When ‘Nova first started recruiting me they were on their run of winning a national championship and they did!  So that alone definitely puts them high on my list.  If i was to create a list they would be within my top 5 strictly based upon my connection and relationship to Coach Wright, Coach Neptune and Josh Hart and the caliber of academic excellence that school strives for, which I think would push me.

Leader Johnson:  I see you not only look for the successful athletic school but a successful academic school.  When was the last time you visited Villanova and when will you go back?

Scottie Lewis: The last time I was at ‘Nova was for a team camp and I’m not really sure when I will be going back because the UA season has just started and winning is my number one focus, not college visits.

Leader Johnson:  What do you think of coach Jay Wright?

Scottie Lewis: I think he is a Coach that wants to continue to build a winning program.  I think he knows exactly the kind of players he wants to bring into his program which are defensive juggernauts because that’s something I’ve heard he takes pride in.  I love how laid back and relaxed he is during a game because that means he means business.

Leader Johnson:  This year in high school, what have been your biggest games and how much did you score those games?

Scottie Lewis: My biggest games were the Mater Dei games and the Patrick School games and I’m not sure about points

Leader Johnson: I see when it come to stats you don’t care too much - which shows your a man of action and a pure team player.  Do you have any personal rivalries - players you like to play against?

Scottie Lewis: Well I’m currently ranked 13 on ESPN top 25. That means that there are 12 players that someone thinks is better than me and has more potential than I do. As  the player that I am it’s my job to prove them differently so I would love to get a chance to play against those players.

Leader Johnson:  How has Ranney High School helped you?  What are the names of your coaches any other players we need to look out for out that program besides you and Bryan?

Scottie Lewis: Head coach Tahj Holden: NCAA Championship winner!  Alex Klatsky is a Mike Miller kind of player. When he is out on the floor he plays with passion and he gives it his all. In my personal opinion, Alex is the most skilled player in our class and I feel like once his confidence catches up to his IQ he is going to be dangerous. 

Ahmadu Sarnor plays like a Kemba Walker with a Mamba mentality. He’s smart and knows how to use his body and speed on both the offensive and defensive sides. He plays with the heart and the mindset of a killer and it’s obvious to see because off the court he’s a jokester but once it’s game time the smiles go away.  

Chris Autino is 6’8 and has the big man athleticism. He has a lot of potential and has the pieces to be a great player in the long run.

Leader Johnson:  What player in the NBA do you model your game after and who is your favorite player in the NBA?

Scottie Lewis: When I was younger, I tried to be more like a KD because of my body frame - but now, since I'm a bit more realistic, I try and compare my game to players like Paul George, Jamal Crawford, and Andrew Wiggins.  I have a long way to go to gather the pieces I want from those players but I'm working hard to get there. 

Leader Johnson:  I have interviewed a lot of New Jersey young stars in football - your my first in basketball.  Jersey has been talent rich for years but it’s a rough state with some rough cities.  Were you born and raised in jersey? … and how was it growing up?

Scottie Lewis: I’ve only lived in Jersey going on 4 years now.  I was born in Dayton, Ohio but I grew up and spent the majority of my life in the Bronx with my mom and four brothers.  Growing up was rough but I always had my mom.  She was strong so it made the five of us strong and independent.

Leader Johnson:  How were your parents an influence in your life and how did you keep focus?

Scottie Lewis: Growing up I watched my mom a lot, I watched the things she said, the things she did and most importantly how she handled the struggle.  That is what shaped me into the young man I am today.  Ever since I was a kid I was a kid with the maturity and mindset of a man because my brothers and I had to grow up quick. 

Leader Johnson:  When did you know that basketball was it for you?

Scottie Lewis:  Starting in the summer of 5th grade with the Georgia Tarheels Under Coach Tony and Coach David.  I was so shocked and happy they brought me on the team because at that time I couldn't shoot.  I had never made a free throw.  I couldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time but the one thing I could do was jump and block shots.  I mean, I was so bad I don't think there was a game in 5th grade I didn't foul out.  So that summer I just trained and worked on my game because to suck at anything I do bothers me so I had to get
better.  In 6th grade, I played for the Reach Higher Kings (still in Georgia) under Coach Rico and Coach Corey.  They kind of gave me a chance to show my skill by allowing me to do certain things I wasn’t necessarily used to doing but they gave me that chance anyway and after that I've been in love with the game.

Leader Johnson:  Besides Villanova, who is hot in pursuit of you?

Scottie Lewis: Not to sound cocky but I have gotten a great deal of offers over the last two seasons.  I’m not really sure where I want to go and I haven't really been putting that much thought into it.  I’m just taking things slow and letting the process take its course and smiling all the way until I announce. 

Leader Johnson:  When were you first able to dunk? … you have ups like Jordan and The Doctor when could you first dunk the ball?

Scottie Lewis: I first started dunking in 6th grade.  One night I was at my church in Georgia and they have a gym and I was trying to dunk over and over and I kept missing and then Coach Mitch walks in and says “Scottie you're taking off to close to the basket” so I went all the way down to the opposite side of the count ran full speed and took off and banged it. 

Leader Johnson:  That first dunk what did it feel like?

Scottie Lewis: I was hyped and I just wanted to do it again but I didn't for a while after that.

Leader Johnson:  2019 has all these guys: RJ Barrett, Charles Bassey, Chol Marial, Lamelo Ball but to me you are the no.1 player out of that class … do you feel it’s a chip on your shoulder?

Scottie Lewis: Yes, definitely, my job is to be the best I can be and to me that means to be #1.  Personally rankings don't matter but I like to make a statement and prove who I am and make people believe in the hype.  And once I do take that #1 spot the only thing that will change about me is my smile because it will only get bigger.  I love having a target and I love the responsibility it comes with.

Leader Johnson:  So teams want to know what they are getting - are they getting a leader?  What do you bring to a team?

Scottie Lewis: I bring heart and I bring that energy.  I'm currently 6-5, 6-11 wingspan and I can play and guard all five positions.  I try to be the best defensive player on the floor at all times and I know in my mind and heart that it's just effort and heart which I have.

Leader Johnson:  Young man, it’s been a pleasure …

Scottie Lewis: Yes, Sir - thank you for this opportunity.  Peace out to Leader Johnson.

Leader Johnson:  Until next time, follow Leader Johnson daily, on Scout, or on VUSports … follow the leader!!!

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