Dallas County High School’s junior forward William Lee is nominated for Class 4A player of the year and the state’s Mr. Basketball award. -- File Photo
Dallas County High School’s junior forward William Lee is nominated for Class 4A player of the year and the state’s Mr. Basketball award. -- File Photo

Dallas County’s Lee nominated for 4A player of the year, Mr. Basketball

Published 8:16pm Wednesday, March 20, 2013

After another impressive season on the court, Dallas County High School’s junior forward William Lee is nominated for some high honors.

Lee was recently announced as one of three finalist for the Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 4A Player of the Year award.

Along with being nominated for player of the year in his classification, Lee is one of 21 candidates in each of the seven state classifications who is also a nominee for the Mr. Basketball award, the overall player of the year.

The winners of player of the year in each class and of Mr. Basketball will be announced at the ASWA banquet on April 4.

The 6’8 forward said it’s a blessing and an honor to be up for both awards.

“It’s big, man. It’s just a blessing,” Lee said. “I think I was able to be nominated because of my defense and my ability to block shots and rebound. And I can just score inside and outside.”

Willie Moore, head boys basketball coach of Dallas County, said Lee is special because he’s a humble star on the court and a team player.

“William is a great commodity because he’s a great player, but he doesn’t have the ego that goes along with a lot of great players,” Moore said. “He’s a joy to coach because he doesn’t see himself being more important than any other player on the team. He’s a consummate teammate. He’s always encouraging the others, and what makes him so unique is that he doesn’t worry about his stats, he’s always encouraging teammates to take more shots, be more aggressive, and it’s not about him. That’s what makes him so special.”

Moore said it’s not a surprise that Lee is nominated as one of the best players in the state, as he averaged a triple-double throughout the season.

And while Moore added that he knows some are skeptical of Lee’s stats, a quick glance at the junior’s stat line in this year’s Central Regional Tournament game against Dora — 16 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 blocks — is proof of what he’s capable of.

“I wasn’t shocked. As far as him being up for player of the year, I think what’s unique is that William can beat you three different ways — he can beat you scoring, he can beat you rebounding, and he can beat you with his defensive presence,” Moore said. “Not very many players can do that, and he’s averaged a triple-double all year long. He’s a Division-I athlete and we sort of expect that from him. It’s not a surprise, but in itself it’s an honor for him to be nominated, and I know he’s still humble about that.”

Moore said that Lee also has great versatility on the court.

“He’s sacrificed a lot of his game personally just for the betterment of the team. Most people don’t realize that William can do a lot more from a skill standpoint than he’s able to do for us,” Moore said. “We allow him to play inside because that’s where we need him to play. He can do a lot more as far as facing up, shooting, shooting threes, but he doesn’t do all of that because he plays where we need him to play to give us the best chance to win.”

Lee said it’d be an honor to win either award.

“If I win it, it’d be a blessing,” Lee said. “I’d be lucky if I win it.”

 

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