He has done it again, but this time he is academically qualified and ready to go. Saturday afternoon became the best day of the young career for Westwind Prep Academy 6-foot-2, 190-pound prep guard Larry Lewis, as he gave a verbal pledge to the University of Texas-San Antonio and head coach Brooks Thompson and his basketball staff.
"It felt great," said Larry Lewis. "I have waited a long time for this day. I have waited since February of 2012 when I knew I wasn't going to be eligible. I really worked hard and so it feels good."
Lewis had given an early verbal commitment to the USC Trojans as a mere sophomore, but found himself back on the recruiting board after failing to qualify academically during his senior season. When the early signing period arrived during the fall of 2011, Lewis’ senior season, Lewis was left holding the scholarship papers, while the Trojans moved on.
Lewis would go on to have a big senior season while leading his Arcadia HS team to a big 25-7 record on the season and to the Division-II state semi-finals. Lewis would pour in some serious numbers as well – averaging 23.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.6 steals per/game on the season.
Lewis was regarded as the top overall prospect in Arizona’s 2012 class for sometime, but saw his college recruitment tail off a great deal last spring after failing to qualify. As a result, Lewis took off for much of the spring evaluation period – electing not to play on the AAU/club circuit and deciding to mull over his options for the future. While very frustrated with what took place, Lewis decided to buckle down and get it done in the classroom - putting himself back into position to qualify academically.
While at Westwind Prep this season as a post-graduate, Lewis made up some serious class work and also received a passing test score on his college entrance examination - all a result of hard work for Lewis.
"I really worked hard," said Lewis. "That is the hardest I have ever worked. It will benefit me a lot for my future."
Lewis has also worked very hard on the basketball court, improving his jump shot and overall ability to play the game. Lewis also added 10-15 pounds of muscle to his once thin frame, and looks the part physically of a division-I college player.
"I want to get to 205 pounds before I get to UTSA," said Lewis. Lewis went on to say this about UTSA and their coaching staff: "I really like their coaching staff. They did a great job of recruiting me. I feel like this is a place where I can go and play and have a chance to play at a high level."
UTSA assistant coach Jeff Renegar was instrumental in the recruitment of Lewis. At UTSA, Lewis will also join two other Arizona products in Jordan Sims, a Liberty HS graduate and University of Utah transfer George Matthews, another Westwind Prep product.
UTSA will join Conference USA next season after spending this season in the WAC Conference.
Congratulations to Larry Lewis on working hard to achieve his dream of playing division-I basketball, and also to the Westwind Prep program for aiding Lewis in his pursuit.
Arizona Hoop Review Scouting Report: Lewis is as talented a combo-guard as there is in the state. He is a high-scoring guard prospect that is capable of playing both guard positions, although he is at his best when scoring the basketball. He has excellent size for the point guard position. He is a slasher and an excellent finisher around the basket, and has a strong ability to score in the open floor. He has a very nice mid-range game, which allows for him to knock down shots amidst defensive pressure or make open shots when left unattended. He is a solid three-point shooter, but is still working on his consistency beyond the arc. He has good court vision and pushes the basketball up the floor. He is also a slick defender that plays passing lanes very well, and is capable of becoming a lock-down defender as a result of his good lateral quickness. He has a nice length of body for his size. Has developed physically a great deal since the senior season of high school, and has added size to his upper body. Gave an early verbal commitment to USC as a mere sophomore prospect. A very good looking guard prospect.