Since his sophomore year of high school, Rocky Mountain High School (ID) big man Kolby Lee has been strongly recruited by a variety of college programs. Now in his senior year, Lee has decided to pull the trigger and end the recruiting process.
“I was recruited hard as soon as coaches could recruit you in your sophomore year,” said Lee. “I’ve been recruited since then. At this point it’s been tiring going through the process for some time now. It’s almost annoying now so I decided to make a decision. I mean, don’t get me wrong it’s cool and everything but it just gets tiring talking to all these coaches at a school that you probably won’t go to. I narrowed down my decision down to four schools in Boise State, Utah State, UC Davis, and BYU.
“When I was ready to make a decision, Utah State’s coach, Coach Jones, he left to Utah so he wasn’t really recruiting me hard. It kind of made it easy that if I was going to go to Utah State, Coach Jones wasn’t going to be a part of that program. He left so it kind of made it easy not to go there.
“Boise State, when I thought about them, they didn’t contact me for about three weeks. It was almost like they thought that I was just going to go to BYU or something, so that kind of made things a little easier too.
“UC Davis was fourth on my list, but when I went there for an official visit it made the decision a lot harder because their coaches are great guys and their players are super nice. I could see myself being friends with them all and I liked the atmosphere there. So, it came down to BYU and UC Davis.”
After narrowing down his options and spending time on bended knee, Lee felt BYU is where he needed to be.
“At the end of the day I fasted with a prayer and I felt like BYU was the right place for me,” said Lee. “When I went down there for an unofficial I played in an open gym and played there and did pretty good. The guys at BYU treated you like you’re already part of the family environment. I’m just a high school kid and they could easily have blown me off, but I build a good relationship with Coach Rose, Coach LaComb and the others. I liked every one of the coaches at BYU and usually you only like one or two. BYU just seemed like a good fit for me so I committed.”
Lee called Coach Rose who was at that time in Europe. After a brief conversation Lee made his intentions known. The news was well received.
“At first it started off as a normal conversation on a Sunday afternoon,” recalled Lee. “Coach Rose was in Italy, or somewhere in Europe. We were talking for a little bit about life and how things are going. Then there was a little pause and I told him that I wanted to commit. He was really excited and it was great to hear someone like him have such great faith in me.”
What Lee brings to the court is both size and a unique set of skills that will make him an exciting addition to the BYU basketball roster.
“I’m at athletic 6-9 or 6-10 with shoes on and weigh in at about 250-pounds right now,” said Lee. “The things that I do well is I’m definitely a good back to the basket big. I really like to shoot the hook shot because it’s hard for athletic dudes to block it no matter how athletic they are. It takes away their jumping abilities. That’s kind of my bread and butter. I’m getting really good with my left too, so I can shoot the hook shot with both hands that’s going to be hard to stop. Then recently in the Adidas Gauntlet I shot 62 percent from the three point range. I don’t shoot it a ton from the three but my stats tell you that I’m pretty efficient.”
BYU power forward Yoeli Childs played a role in helping Lee during the process.
“I think I fit in really well there with the roster at BYU, and after Yoeli Childs committed I paid more attention to BYU because I played against him,” Lee said. “I wasn’t expecting someone like him in BYU’s program. He’s such a great player. At the open gym he told me to commit right then and there and I didn’t even have an offer yet.
“Yoeli Childs is a pretty cool guy and I called him a couple of times and asked him what made him decide on BYU. He had a lot of great things to say about BYU. Braiden Shaw is from Eagle High School and I’ve seen him play. I know they’re loaded but I think I can fit in pretty well because I can play the four or five as an athletic big because I can shoot the ball. My freshman year I’ll be learning the ropes but I’m excited. I think after that year I’ll be ready to step in and go.”
After serving a mission following his time at Rocky Mountain High School, Lee will join a Cougar roster he believes will be good for many years to come.
“I think BYU is going to be good for the next six years,” Lee said. “I think they’ll be good this year, but the year after that they’re going to be a powerhouse.”