Jalen Lewis isn’t lost on the fact that, by and large, he’s considered to be the top center in the 2023 class; it’s his plan as a result of that projection that separates him from the pack.

“I didn’t want to just back that up,” Lewis said. “I wanted to expand on it.”

So far so good.

Before leaving to attend the USA Men's Junior National Team Minicamp in Houston, Lewis was averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds a game for Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, Calif.).

“I just wanted to show people that I deserve my spot,” Lewis said. “I came into the season with the mindset to dominate everyone, and not let up no matter what the competition was.”

That mindset certainly helped last week at the USA Basketball Minicamp, where being considered elite was basically a prerequisite for the invite.

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“Everyone there is one of the top players in the class and they’re all bringing their A game,” Lewis said. “I’m the kind of player that loves competition so it’s fun to me. Everyone here can fill it up all over the court.”

With that in mind, Lewis said he decided to accentuate different aspects of his game in order to standout.

“I score and all that, but I also wanted to show my playmaking ability,” Lewis said. “I feel like I’m really versatile and I can create for my teammates; I feel like that’s what makes me standout the most.”

Droves of top college coaches tend to agree with that assessment.

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Lewis said he’s heard from Michigan, Kentucky, North Carolina, Arkansas, Cal, USC and Stanford most consistently.

“A lot of the coaches say that they’re coming out to see me play in July, so I’m looking forward to that,” Lewis said. “I’m just turning things up in every way this summer. I just have a different mindset and I feel like my game has grown a lot over the last year. I’m excited to be able to show what I can do.”