Crimson Tide point guard Kira Lewis officially declared his intention to enter the NBA draft on Tuesday, ending his career in Tuscaloosa after two seasons.
Lewis announced the decision on Twitter where he thanked, among others, his coaches, teammates and fans.
Earlier in the spring, Lewis had taken the first steps towards entering the draft process, but his hiring an agent on Tuesday means he is permanently ineligible to return to his college team.
The Meridianville native earned an All-SEC first-team selection for his sophomore season that ended abruptly during the SEC tournament, which was canceled partway through to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Lewis, who has long made his Christianity a feature of his public comments, begins his announcement video saying, “First, I would like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, because anything is possible with Him.”
The sophomore led the Tide in points, assists and minutes played during the 2019-2020 season and was top five in the Southeastern Conference in all of those same categories.
The athletic guard does not turn 19 until later in the month, having enrolled at the University of Alabama when he was only 17.
NBC Sports’ college basketball analysts have Lewis pegged as a late first-round pick.
Alabama head coach Nate Oats stated, “We are excited for Kira and his family.”
“Whichever team drafts Kira will be getting a special player,” Oats outlined. “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.”
It’s Time⏰ pic.twitter.com/vlIMHvOzVs
— Kira Lewis Jr. (@kiralewisjr) April 21, 2020