Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
By ALAN AVITALNEW YORK — Drexel recruit Damion Lee entered Sunday’s championship game of the iS8/Nike Spring Classic brimming with self confidence. He was playing alongside some of the nation’s top high school players and showing that he belonged.
“This was my first time playing at iS8,” said Lee, 6-foot-3 shooting guard out of Owings Mill, Md., who attends St. Thomas More (Conn.). “And I really loved it. Hopefully, based on my performance here, I have a new fan base.”
Lee, who committed to the Philadelphia-based school just last month, scored 14 of his game-high 21 points in the second half to lead the Sean Bell All-Stars to a 71-60 victory over Real Scout in front of a raucous crowd.“The first quarter was really a struggle for me, as I wasn’t hitting my shots,” said Lee. “But I started driving to the basket and got into my rhythm. I was hitting 3’s, got to the free throw line. Things just started clicking for me.”
Lee drilled two 3-pointers from the left wing midway through the second quarter, as Sean Bell rallied from a 27-17 deficit to grab a 34-33 lead late in the half. He continued his onslaught late in the third quarter, hitting a mid-range jumper, followed by a driving lay-up to give Sean Bell a 51-44 lead.
Finally, Lee opened up the scoring in the fourth quarter on a lay-in off a cross-court feed by Arizona recruit Josiah Turner. Sean Bell would outscore Real Scout 18-8 in the final quarter to secure the win.
“Playing all the high-ranked players and all the different talents really elevated my game,” said Lee. “I loved the experience, an experience that I will never forget.”
Lee had originally committed to Towson, but decided to re-open his recruitment, getting looks from Northeastern, TCU, LaSalle, Clemson and Valparaiso. He decided that Drexel fit his needs, both athletically and academically.
“Drexel is a great fit for me,” he said. “I was told that I can come in and contribute immediately. It is also one of the better academic schools in the country.”
High school recruiting expert Tom Konchalski concurred with Lee’s assessment, and believes the fit is a perfect one.
“Damion Lee is a quality kid and has gotten a lot tougher this year,” said Konchalski. “He should be a very good player in the C.A.A. (Colonial Athletic Association), and a major contributor for years to come.”
**Harvard-bound Hooper lights it up at iS8
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**St. John’s recruits engage in dunkfest at iS8
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.