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KETCHIKAN (KDN) — Marcus Lee has made it official. The Ketchikan High School Kings’ senior announced via social media earlier this week that he would be attending the University of Alaska-Fairbanks next season on a basketball scholarship. Lee has verbally committed. He will officially sign with the Division-II program this spring.
“He’s worked extremely hard,” Kayhi head coach Eric Stockhausen said. “I think anytime you get a chance to further your education on a scholarship — any size scholarship — but a full scholarship ... it’s incredible. It’s great for the family.”
Lee traveled to Fairbanks with his family after the new year. The 5’9”, 160-pound point guard is currently tied for fourth all-time on the Kings’ career scoring list with professional basketball player Damen Bell-Holter, and has always known that he wanted to play basketball at the next level after high school.
As “awesome” as it is to have 1,220 career points under his belt, Lee has always had his head up on the court, looking for the open teammate. It has served him well throughout high school and will continue to do so at college.
“I’m looking to play at the next level — at college,” Lee said earlier this season. “I’m not going to be the number-one scorer on my team at the next level. I’m just looking to get better and expand my game, and look to find the open guy. I can’t play the game without my teammates — five-on-one is not (going to work). I like to give my teammates the ball.”
Lee is the first commit for UAF head coach Greg Sparling. The veteran coach took over the program last summer after spending 24 seasons as the head coach at Central Washington University. Since the mid-1990s, Sparling compiled a 386-253 record at CWU. This season, his Nanooks are 4-7.
“To be that new coaching staff’s first commit, it’s quite an honor for him,” Stockhausen said. “Coach (Greg) Sparling and (assistant) coach Jesse Brown have been in contact with Marcus from day one. And they want to build their program around an Alaskan kid who knows how to play, can play fast, and has the skill set that Marcus has.”
Luckily for UAF, Marcus Lee has a younger brother, Chris Lee, who is just as talented. Chris Lee is 20th all-time on the Kings’ scoring list with 809 career points, and is on pace to surpass Marcus Lee next season when he’ll be a senior at Kayhi.
“I bet you UAF is hoping to get the pair of them because they play well together,” Stockhausen said. “And it’s exciting for them to be the building blocks of a program.”
That possibility of the Lee brothers playing at the next level together isn’t for certain. But for Marcus, the journey is just beginning.
“I think he’s looking forward to it,” Stockhausen said.