Tyreek Jewell never pictured himself as a Division I basketball player.
That changed in 2014 when the Bronx native committed to St. Francis after two seasons at Jamestown Community College. He never imagined he’d play professional basketball either. Now, he’s hoping that changes, as well.
Jewell, who graduated from St. Francis this spring, signed a contract with Kouros Basketball Agency on May 24 and is now playing the professional waiting game, hoping to start his career in Europe in the next few weeks.
“Playing in New York is obviously something a lot of people dream about,” Jewell said. “I didn’t expect to get that much media attention. I didn’t even know St. Francis until the last season of my [junior college] career. It’s all just been kind of amazing.”
Jewell was pleasantly surprised during his senior season, when several agents approached him about playing at the next level. He had been in contact with Kouros for months, however, and felt most comfortable with the agency. It led to a contract just a few days after he walked across the graduation stage.
Jewell is hoping the decision pays off sooner than later. Kouros is a full-service International Basketball Federation-licensed agency for professional basketball players based out of Greece, and Jewell expects to land on the shores of the Mediterranean as soon as possible.
“People had been talking to me on Facebook, actually, that they had enjoyed watching me and wanted to speak to me after the season,” Jewell said. “I had been speaking to the guys from Greece since about January, so I was more comfortable. I felt the connection.”
A standout defender during his junior season, Jewell added an offensive layer to his game this year, averaging 12.4 points and 2.4 assists per game. His on-court evolution isn’t over yet, and Jewell has started transitioning from a shooting guard to point guard, working on his passing and ability to spread the ball around the court. He’s hoping the shift will make him even more appealing to pro squads.
“I’ve been trying to work on getting my team the ball more,” Jewell said. “The pick and roll and knowing when to shoot the ball and getting everyone involved. I talk to my agent every day or two, and he’s told me not too worry about it. He promised me that he’ll get me a job — I just don’t know where yet.”
Jewell is doing his best to savor every moment of the process. He’s never worked harder, never been more exhausted and — most importantly — never been more excited.
He may never have pictured himself as a pro, but now that he’s on his career’s doorstep, Jewell is ready to let his expectations fly sky-high.
“I’m very excited,” Jewell said. “I’ve never really traveled — and then there’s basketball. It’s like a dream come true, and I hope I can use this to keep reaching to a higher level.”