There are several players from Indiana currently in the NBA, but Courtney Lee will become the first area player since George McGinnis to play in the NBA finals when his Orlando Magic take on the Los Angeles Lakers tonight.
Jeff Rabjohns profiles Lee's jump from Pike High School to the NBA finals in today's Star. This is a fitting tribute to Lee's talent which has flown under the radar for far too many years. He was a key cog on Pike's 2003 title team but the attention for that undefeated team fell on Justin Gage and Robert Vaden. With Vaden gone for Lee's senior year, he was lost in the transfer of hoop power across town to Lawrence North with Greg Oden and Michael Conley. Lee didn't get any love from local colleges either and ended up putting his nose to the grindstone and developing his game at Western Kentucky.
Now that Lee is playing, and playing well, at the top of his profession, all of the overdue accolades are showering down on him. Well deserved.
Love the irony that Lee's game is getting all of this recognition since an errant Dwight Howard elbow crushed his face forcing Lee to wear a mask. His game has been masked long enough, now only his face is masked. Hopefully, he'll join Oscar Robertson as an NBA champion.