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Lehi’s Cooper Lewis headed to Saint Mary’s after mission



Lehi senior guard Cooper Lewis announced on Tuesday (May 7) that he has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif. to continue his basketball career, but he will first serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Utah’s reigning Mr. Basketball chose from multiple full athletic scholarship offers. He received interest from every corner of the country after the Pioneers won the Class 6A championship on March 1.

It has been something of a roller-coaster ride since then that he’s glad to have behind him.

“I wasn’t initially planning on going on a mission right now, butafter the championship I took time to reflect and it became clear that God’s plan was for me to serve a mission,” he said. He has received his call to the Oregon Portland Mission and will begin his service this summer.

“Basketball is good but serving the Lord is great,” he continued.“President Nelson has been emphasizing mission service and I recognize that this is important to my faith.

“Coach (Randy) Bennett and his staff are totally supportive of my decision,” Cooper said. “They knew more about missionsthan I expected.”

“Our program is very excited to have Cooper join the Gael family in 2026,” Bennett said. “At Saint Mary’s, we pride ourselves in bringing in talented players who are focused on winning. 


“Cooper is no exception to that, as he concluded his high school career by winning the Gatorade Player of the Year award on top of a state championship in the top division of Utah,” the coach continued.

“On top of all his accomplishments on the court, Cooper’s high character, work ethic, and leadership qualities will be a great addition to our team and culture.

“Cooper hails from a phenomenal family, with his mother Debbie and his father Quincy, who is a former Division I assistant and a legendary high school basketball coach in the state of Utah,” Bennett said.

“He has been raised with stellar qualities and values that align with the goals that we set with our program. We wish him the best of luck in his journey over the next two years and look forward to having him join us after his mission,” the coach concluded.

Cooper made official visits to several campuses. He was favorably impressed by all aspects of the school, but his decision to throw in his lot with the Gaels was squarely based on hoops.

“My big thing is they win,” Cooper said. “They’ve won since Coach Bennett has been there. He’s done a fantastic job. Their staff was awesome and the players were great. They are really sharp young men who all want to win. They’re buying into their roles and they play them to perfection.

“That’s why they won their conference last year,” he said. “Everyone in the program is committed to the team. You want to be around guys that have the same mindset as you and want to be there for four years. I look forward to playing with those guys.

“I don’t know how things will look when I get there, but I know I can become the best version of myself there with their help,” Cooper added.


“I see the success of so many different guys who came out of there and I know that if I grow to be the best I possibly can be, I think I can help them win and I want to be part of that.” He had the chance to play with some of the program’s alumni, who often work out with the team during the offseason.

The Gaels have indeed been a premier program since Bennett arrived. He has a 533-216 record in 23 seasons at the helm, a 71-percent success rate. His teams have won the West Coast Conference championship five times, including this past season when they went 26-8 and 15-1 in WCC play.

The Gaels have not missed the postseason since 2007 except in 2020, when all tournaments were cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That run has included 10 NCAA appearances and a Sweet 16 berth as well as seven stops in the NIT.

Former Pioneer coach Quincy Lewis is also Cooper’s father and is excited for his son to have this opportunity. “Over the last 13 years, SMC is the fourth-winningest program in the country,” he said. “They have a proven track record of developing playersover four years.

“They also have an exceptional, well-respected coach and they’re a regular in the NCAA tournament. It’s pretty hard to do better than that,” Quincy continued. “I really like how involved their assistant coaches are. They have detailed workout plans for each of their players, amongst many other positive things.

“They charter all their flights and they really take care of their athletes,” he added. “The conference is a mid-major-plus but the program‘s success puts it in high major company.”

The institution is a private Catholic college with about 4,000 students, but there is no religious requirement for admission. The school’s website indicates that it is “Guided by social justice, empathy for others, and a mind for service.” 

It features small class sizes, innovative programs, international outreach and a beautiful campus. “It’s a quiet place with no distractions,” Cooper said. “The academics are great there and probably underappreciated; the school is one of the best. I met with an academic advisor on my visit.”


He also met with the athletic director and came away impressed with the place that the hoops program has, not only on campus but in the community. “Basketball is the most important sport there,” he said. “It will be fun to still have the kind of great community support that I always had at Lehi.”

Cooper is, above all, deeply grateful. “I want to thank Coach Bennett for recruiting me and taking a chance on me,” he said.“It’s a great compliment to have a chance to play for him. I’mlooking forward to getting out to play for him and his staff in Moraga in two years.

“I want to thank the Lehi community for all my experiences here,” he went on. “I’ve made friends with so many amazing people. My teachers and advisors, my peers and classmates have been so incredibly supportive these last four years.

“I want to especially thank my friends and teammates Bryson,Gray, Kaleb, Easton, Gabe, Jace and Cy,” Cooper said. “Those guys are some of the best people I’ve ever met or will ever meet,and they’ve all played such big roles for me.”

He said that one of the reasons this core group of players was so unified during the season is because they started playing golf together two or three times a week last summer. “That’s how we became so tight,” he said.

“I want to thank my coaches too,” Cooper said. “The people I’vehad throughout high school and younger that I played for are absolutely amazing and I would do anything for those guys. I’mwishing Coach Bromley all the best in his new adventure at Lehi as the head coach.

“I want to thank my parents as well. My mother Debbie is the most supportive human being I’ve ever met, and she has been a great example for me throughout my life. I’m incredibly grateful that God made her as my mother.

“I want to thank my father and coach for introducing me to the game of basketball and all of the life lessons that he’s taught meand all the times that he woke up really early to help me become a better basketball player. I’m incredibly grateful to have him in my life.


“He has won 11 state championships, nine as a coach and two as a player, so playing for him was absolutely incredible, but being able to call him my dad outweighs all of that,” Cooper said. “It was really special to win a state championship with him.

“He cares about his players and was always more concerned about their development than their victories,” he added. “To have that as my example has helped me to be a better person.

“I’ve spent a lot of time alone in the mornings and really late at night working out to try to become the best basketball player I could be,” Cooper said. “To have it all pay off now is a dream come true.

“I’m really excited for this new opportunity and after my mission I’ll be ready to work even harder to become my very best,” he concluded.