Ira Lee is an elite student-athlete currently attending Prolific Prep in Napa, California. Lee is one of the most highly coveted high school prospects in the country, currently ranked #37 in the class of 2017 per ESPN. The 6’8 forward has been outstanding on the prestigious Under Armour AAU circuit, averaging 13.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game on an efficient 50.8% from the field for Earl Watson Elite. Ira has become a favorite of college coaches in need of a highly skilled combo-forward with the skillset to play on the perimeter with his ability to create off the dribble and knock down perimeter jumpshots, while having the size and elite athletic ability to finish at the rim, rebound, and defend the paint.
I. AAU & SELF ANALYSIS
EM: Congrats on the great Spring so far, you’ve turned some heads with your ability. Can you tell us how things are going for Earl Watson Elite as a team and for you individually?
IL: Thank you, and I love my team! We don’t look like the most intimidating team in AAU but we are all scrappy and love to win. Individually, Coach forces me to try new things because ultimately I want to be as versatile as possible. There was a point where I was playing a little bit of the point guard spot.
— Olin Simplis (@osimplis) May 29, 2016
Catching this Earl Watson Elite-Beast Mode game. You're on an island if Ira Lee catches it at the high-post area. #UAA
— Drew Ruiz (@DrewRuiz90) May 29, 2016
EM: Can you describe your game for those that are not familiar?
IL: Two words to describe it would be motor and passion. I will always play hard no matter what. Now I’m figuring how to include my skillset with how hard I play the game.
EM: How often do you work on your game?
IL: I work on it every day because I’m tired of everyone thinking I’m a glue guy, so every day I make sure I get some type of skill development in.
— Courtside Films (@CourtsideFilms) May 26, 2016
II. ACADEMICS AND OFF-COURT INTERESTS
EM: Can we talk a bit about your interests as a student, what is your favorite subject?
IL: Education is important to my family so that’s always going to be a priority. My favorite subject as of now has to be AP US History, though it can be boring at times I still find it interesting.
EM: What do you plan to major in when attending college?
IL: Really not sure at this point.
EM: What are your interests off the court?
IL: I like to cook and listen to music while I’m at home chilling.
I’ve seen Ira Lee play, like, 50 times over the last few years and he’s never not engaged/intense. Has a couple big dunks/blocks this AM.
— Devin Ugland (@Devin_Ugland) May 29, 2016
EM: Shifting a bit to recruiting, can you tell us which schools have offered?
IL: Texas, Kansas, UConn, Arizona, USC, Cal, ASU, Oregon, Marquette
EM: Which schools show interest that haven’t yet offered?
IL: Stanford, Georgetown, Oregon State
EM: Which schools would you say are recruiting you the hardest?
IL: I have to say Texas, Arizona, Cal, USC, and Oregon
EM: Do you have a top group of schools that you’re focused on at this point?
IL: Texas, Arizona, USC, Cal, Oregon, and Kansas
EM: Any visits or team camps lined up in the near future?
IL: I’m supposed to take a visit to Stanford and Arizona in the next few weeks.
EM: What factors are important to you and your family when making your college decision?
IL: How the school develops my game and where my style of play fits into the program
EM: Do you have a timeline for your decision?
IL: I plan on making my decision in the Fall.
Memorial Day weekend was coo pic.twitter.com/wTsLqQPnpr
— Ira Lee (@iramandoesit) May 30, 2016
IV. PERSONAL GOALS & ADVICE
EM: Any personal goals on or off the court?
IL: I haven’t been playing this game for too long so for me to be doing what I’m doing now is still surprising, so I’ve made it a goal to continue making strides in my game and be the best player I can be.
EM: Last, if you could give the youth some advice on how to succeed either on or off the court, what would you say?
IL: Make sure you love the game….no matter what always play with passion, even when things are going bad. Always stay humble and true to the people that helped get you where you are.
See Highlights of Ira Below: