‘Tremendous upside’: Carribean NBA prospect Malique Lewis unveiled as latest NBL Next Star

    The NBL Next Stars program has secured its latest high-level prospect, with 19-year-old forward and NBA draft prospect Malique Lewis joining South East Melbourne.

    Lewis, who is from Trinidad and Tobago, played for the Mexico City Capitanes in the NBA G League last season and spent the two years prior competing in Spain’s Liga ACB for Fuenlabrada.

    The 6-foot-8 forward, who grew up primarily playing soccer before making the switch to basketball, said he was “absolutely thrilled” to link up with the Phoenix next season.

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    “I can’t wait to get started with the team and be part of the Next Stars program,” Lewis said.

    “I’m incredibly grateful to SEM for this amazing opportunity. I’m eager to get out there, help the team win games, and make our fans proud.

    “While my ultimate goal is to be drafted in the 2025 NBA Draft, my focus right now is all about giving my best for Phoenix and contributing to a successful season.”

    NBL General Manager of Next Stars Recruitment, Liam Santamaria said Lewis, who was taken with the No. 1 pick in the G League international draft, has “tremendous upside”.

    “He has a unique combination of elite physical tools, a versatile skillset and youth, making him a very exciting prospect,” added Santamaria.

    “He possesses high level defensive instincts and his length, speed and athleticism make him a disruptive and impactful defender. Offensively, Malique has a prototypical skillset for a modern NBA three-and-D wing, with his ability to run the floor, get above the rim and knock it down from long range.”

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    Lewis played 19 games for the Capitanes last season, averaging 9.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.1 steals.

    “Malique is a really unique prospect and his potential is incredibly exciting,” Phoenix general manager of basketball operations Simon Mitchell said.

    “He’s got great attributes, he’s a great size and he’s already as an astute defender, we’re looking forward to welcoming him to the Phoenix.”

    Lewis is the fifth Next Star to be locked in for the 2024-25 NBL season, with the league looking to build on the program’s success in the most recent NBA draft.

    A record four Next Stars were drafted into the NBA last month, bringing the total to nine since the program’s inception, with Alex Sarr (pick 2, 2024), Ousmane Dieng (pick 11, 2022) Josh Giddey (pick 6, 2021) and LaMelo Ball (pick 3, 2020) all taken in the lottery.


    Malique Lewis (South East Melbourne Phoenix)

    Rocco Zikarsky (Brisbane Bullets)

    Alex Toohey (Sydney Kings)

    Roman Siulepa (Tasmania JackJumpers)

    Izan Almansa (Perth Wildcats)

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