Vincent Edward Mendoza
Arizona born and current California resident Ira Lee is a 6’8 225 pound forward in the class of 2017 with a knack for the ball as PGU witnessed in full force at the Pangos All-American Camp.
Lee looks solid heading into this AAU circuit as he looks to show that he has bounced back from his shoulder injury that sidelined him last season at Sierra Canyon. And from the performance he displayed he looks to be back at full strength with plenty to prove.
As previously reported by PGU, Lee already has top tier schools recruiting him such as Arizona, UCLA, UCONN, USC and Cal.
PGU caught up with Lee during the camp and Arizona sticks out based on the Wildcat faithful.
“It was crazy in McKale, it doesn’t matter who they’re playing, its like that every game,” he told PGU. “With that crazy atmosphere it makes me play better because I can feed off of the energy.”
It also doesn’t hurt that two of his friends, Parker Jackson-Cartwright and Stanley Johnson, have found success at Arizona.
“Stanley and Parker are my guys,” Lee said “Stanley, I train with him and we’ve been close now for about two years and I’ve played with Parker before.”
“We’ve kept in contact throughout the year and Parker tells me about the atmosphere, the defense and run and go style offense,” he said.
Lee has stated that the Arizona staff wants him to be an Aaron Gordon type player and defensively he has the tools to do so even at this stage in his career.
“Versatility and my motor is my big thing,” Lee said.
Lee showed both during the weekend while playing with high energy. Constantly being disruptive on the defensive side of the ball and battling for rebounds, not giving up on loose balls and put-backs on the offensive glass was impressive especially with the level of competition at the Pangos camp.
As Lee heads into his junior year there are still things that he wants to improve upon.
“Overall, I need to get my jumper more consistent. I do think my mid-range shot is a lot better and my three pointer is getting there,” he said.
For now, what makes Lee such an intriguing prospect for the Arizona coaching staff is his desire to be a top level defender. Numerous times during the weekend PGU saw Lee defend, rebound in traffic and push the ball up the court in transition and make on cue passes to the open man.
“I want to improve my overall playmaking abilities,” he told PGU. “Whatever it takes to win. If coach tells me to get 20 rebounds I’ll do that or if he wants me to score I’ll score, if he tells me to make a couple assists then that’s what I’ll do.”
Assistant coach Joe Pasternack along with head coach Sean Miller are in constant contact with the 2017 prospect and that sticks out according to Lee when choosing a school.
“The coaches. If I have a good relationship with the coaches, how they operates and how they fit with the team-that’ll make the difference,” he said.