College or pro, it doesn't matter. When Ron Lee watches televised basketball, his eyes remain peeled on the handlers and jump-shooters.
But here's his story: once a guard, not always a guard.
At 6-4, 190 pounds, the senior now finds himself playing center for Ben Franklin High's basketball team. Zoom. From wing guard right past small and power forward. Not an easy transition?
"I'm still working on it, but it's going pretty nice, actually," Lee said. "I'm doing it for the benefit of the team and I think it's helping me, too.
"It's allowing me to show my versatility. And since I'm used to playing guard, and that's what I still play in outside ball, I can do lots of things that most centers can't. Plus, I already had good strength, so it's not hard having to be more physical."
Yesterday, Lee contributed 14 points and six rebounds as the Electrons topped visiting Murrell Dobbins Tech, 65-62, in overtime, in an entertaining Public B contest.
He also got to act like a football player.
The game was decided as sophomore Malik McDaniels swished a buzzer-beating, left-wing threeball with a defender's hand in his face.
"I ran over and tackled him," Lee said, laughing. "It was like everybody in our school did. That was exciting. That's my new best friend.
"I was in the high post when he shot it. I didn't have to run in for a rebound. I knew it was goin' in because I play with him on the outside and I know how he shoots it. All net. That's what it was. All net."
With 11.2 seconds remaining, Lee converted a double-bonus to create a tie at 62-62. Dobbins turned it over at 6.4 and Franklin needed to go about three-quarters court. Melvin Dixon inbounded to Tyron Carlton, and he passed to McDaniels, who dribbled twice before he launched.
Lee hit one free throw with 31 seconds showing in regulation to make it 52-52. Both teams then missed "last" shots.
"I'm good at the line usually," Lee said. "I was mad at myself for not making both, but at least we got to OT. I wasn't thinking too much at the line. I just took my usual approach: try to make them all."
William "B.J." Kearse (13), Dixon (11) and Richard Freeman (10) joined Lee in double-figure scoring, with McDaniels right behind at nine. Samuel Everett-Bey (27) and Tariq Lee (25) were a two-man wrecking crew for Dobbins.
Lee, who lives near 10th and Master, hopes to major in accounting in college. And get back to playing guard, of course.
"I can still do some guard things now," he said. "After I get rebounds, I make sure to make good passes." *