Lee's In Early

Clarksville guard Dederick Lee (6-2, 160), who just finished up a fantastic sophomore season leading his team to the Class 4A state title by averaging 27.5 points and 7 assists per game, ends his recruiting process early by committing to Mike Anderson's Arkansas Razorbacks.

In addition to being a great young basketball player, Clarksville junior-to-be basketball star Dederick Lee will also now go down as a Razorback sports trivia answer.

The question: Who was new Arkansas head basketball coach Mike Anderson's first hoops commit?

Lee (6-2, 160) took that honor Saturday when he came to Fayetteville for an unofficial visit, got an offer and decided to go ahead and pledge to play his college basketball for the Razorbacks.

"I had in my mind that he (Anderson) was the coach that I wanted to play for in college when he was still at Missouri, but when he came back to Arkansas that just made it perfect," Lee said. "I love his up-tempo style and it is a system I think that I play the best in."

Lee is coming off a season in which he averaged 27.5 points and 7 assists a game and was named the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Sophomore of the Year while leading his team to a 26-8 mark and the Class 4A state title.

The left-handed point guard got his offer from Arkansas and believes he was on the verge of getting offers from Missouri and Tulsa among a host of other suitors showing interest.

"I think the strong parts of my game are my driving to the basket and making things happen in the lane," Lee said. "I can get to the rim really well with my left hand and I am working on getting stronger with my right hand and my shooting."

Lee visitedthe Razorbacks Saturday at the same time as Arkansas Mustangs teammate Jahlil Okafor (6-9, 255), a sophomore to be and one of the class of 2014's top prospects nationally.

Lee had 24 points and made 12-of-14 free throws as Clarksville knocked off Razorback signee Hunter Mickelson's Jonesboro Westside squad 60-54 in this year's state championship game.

That team also featured seniors Trey Schucke and Wesleigh Foster – both outstanding football players – as well as freshmen Kendrick and Fredrick Lee, Dederick's twin 5-4 brothers that came up at the end of the junior high season.

"I really didn't know that we would have a chance to win the state title until we won our regional and were just really playing well together, playing as a family," Lee said. "I like playing basketball on the same team with my brothers because we all have great chemistry out there and do what it takes to win."

Sometimes that means pouring in the points as Dederick Lee did in a regular season conference game win over Mena.

He had 51 points – the same number Mena had in Clarksville's 66-51 win.

"I didn't know that I had that many points until the end of the game when the fans started chanting 51," Lee said. "Everything was working for me that night."

Lee actually averaged 18 points as a ninth grader while playing alongside older brother C.J. as the Panthers made it to the quarterfinals of the state championship.

"I think Coach Anderson coming back to Arkansas just made this a perfect fit for Dederick," noted Freddy Lee, Dederick's dad and AAU coach with the Arkansas Mustangs. "They were watching him and we went up to see them at Missouri. They liked what they saw during his high school season and got a peep at him this spring and decided to go ahead and offer him.

"We went up there (to Fayetteville) and visited with the coaches and he decided to just go ahead and make the move and be a Razorback," the elder Lee said. "We're all happy about it."

While Lee will play for the Mustangs this summer, he will also spend time with the Mac Irvin Fire, a team he will play for at the Nike Peach Jam.

"I'm also going to go to camps, including one in St. Louis," Lee said. "I am just going to go out and work and try to get better each and every day."


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