When the initial list of attendees for the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp came out, Greg Lewis' name was conspicuously absent.
After a couple cancellations, however, Lewis got the invite to Charlottesville, Va. The rising senior center from St. Frances relished the chance to compete against the country's best.
"It's a lot of opportunity to be in the camp and it can take you a long way if you put the hard work in at the camp," Lewis said. "It's a lot of opportunity to work with former NBA players, and if you do the right things, I think it will take you a long way."
Lewis, Rivals.com's No. 106 player nationally and the 10th-ranked center, has spent the summer on the AAU circuit with Nike Baltimore Elite, battling most of the best big men in the country many times before last week's camp. Nervousness, Lewis said, wasn't an issue."It's like anything else. Basketball is basketball," Lewis said. "I've been playing with these guys last year and the previous summer before that. So I know most of these guys. It's basketball."
Dave Telep, Scout.com's national recruiting director, said Lewis demonstrated a strong work ethic at the camp, and he has always had plenty of potential. Now it's just a matter of putting all the pieces together.
"I think Greg is just learning that it's got to be the same effort every single time out," Telep said. "Greg has the natural ability. It's about the intensity every single time. You want to play in the ACC or Big East or SEC and be a starter, you've got to come strong. I think Greg has it in him. I think learning to do it consistently is the next step. To his credit, he was up early for some early-morning workouts. At the camp, as far as big men, he kind of blended in, but it was the national Top 100 camp.
"... He's going to have every chance [to be a high-major recruit] because it's a very shallow pool of post players. The class of 2011 is not deep. The big schools are going to want to recruit Greg Lewis. It's up to him to prove he's more than just a guy that's being recruited for his size and potential. It's up to him to go out in July to make the next step in his game and start becoming a consistent contributing guy at the highest level."
Lewis said several high-major programs have already offered him a scholarship, including Maryland, Xavier, South Florida, Villanova, Ohio State and Rutgers. A trip to College Park was planned for this week.
"I like Maryland," Lewis said. "... [But] I'm considering everyone. I'm open to everybody right now."
Baltimore Sun photo by Elizabeth Malby / Jan. 29, 2009