Ira Lee is a physical 6-8 power forward from Sierra Canyon High School (Los Angeles). A native of Glendale, Arizona, Lee didn’t start playing basketball until age 12. He has quickly risen to be one of the most coveted recruits of the 2017 class.
Lee has already made a big impression on the national level and has picked up several big time offers from Arizona, UCONN, USC, UCLA, Auburn, Tulsa, and Cal. Of these schools Arizona, UCONN, USC, and Cal are currently recruiting him the hardest according to Lee.
His last visit to Arizona was in March when he saw Arizona clinch the Pac-12 championship against Stanford.
He really enjoyed the atmosphere of the McKale center. “I loved it, it was wild, the crowd was amazing, that’s what I like to play in front of,” Lee said.
Growing up in Arizona, Lee is very familiar with the region and the weather in the southwest.
Lee already has connections to a few recent Wildcats, as he is good friends with soon to be NBA draft pick Stanley Johnson and played with point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright in Los Angeles.
Lee is a powerful finisher and an elite defender at the power forward position. His length and instincts lead to many second chance scoring opportunities. Lee’s athleticism and active, high-energy style of play reminds the coaching staff of a former U of A standout.
“They want me to be an Aaron Gordon type player, a skilled and versatile forward,” Lee said. “Arizona thinks that my energy will match their style of play. I always try to keep the high motor, energy, and power in my game but at the same time develop a steady skill set”.
Still only a sophomore, Lee is continually developing his well-rounded game.
“I’m real confident in my jumpshot and overall playmaking ability,” he said. “I can make a lot more plays off the dribble now because I’m trying to develop into the 3/4 spot where I can go inside and out.”
Like Gordon and so many other Wildcats, Lee played AAU ball with the storied Oakland Soldiers. He plans to travel to Houston next weekend on their top team in the Nike EYBL. The Soldiers are currently ranked #24 in the nation and he hopes to help them make a run at the Peach Jam in July.
Lee is still undecided of where he wants to commit but had many great things to say about the Wildcats, and he plans to visit this summer.
“I’m looking for a school that has a lot of transition on offense but is also defensive-minded. So far Arizona has a great system for that,” Lee said.