Volleyball is a sport of intensity that requires a unique set of skills. Good mechanics such as quick foot work, hand-eye coordination, agility, speed, strength, and endurance are just a few of the many skills one must possess to play. As you may or may not know, our very own Marcus Lee was not only a star basketball player (McDonald’s All American), but he was also a star player on his Deer Valley High School volleyball team. The skills that Marcus possesses as a volleyball player will compliment him on the basketball court making him a quite versatile player. With Marcus’ height at 6’9, he played middle blocker for the Deer Valley Wolverines, where he easily excelled and had a team best 58.9 kill percentage. The amount of skillful foot work and precise timing that goes into perfecting a kill or block in volleyball will be displayed this year on the basketball court, as it will only help with timing his blocks and getting rebounds.
How else will being a star volleyball player help Marcus on the basketball court? Consider shooting a jump shot in basketball. It requires a unique skill that we all know Matt Jones does not possess, as some witnessed at John Calipari’s Fantasy Camp. With that being said, in basketball, one does not get called for a violation for shooting a bad jump shot. Even though violations for bad jump shots would be nice to put an end to some player’s awful shot attempts, it’s simply not going to happen. But, volleyball players do have to learn how to properly contact the ball at all times, whether it is passing, setting, or hitting, to avoid a violation and thus giving the other team possession of the ball and a point. Playing volleyball has helped increase Marcus’ reaction time, putting him in situations where he is required to make split-second and smart decisions. Jumping is a key component on both offense (hitting) and defense (blocking). There is an art to volleyball. Timing is everything, and Marcus has mastered that art which will be complimentary to this young Kentucky squad.
Another reason playing volleyball is beneficial to Marcus Lee is seen both on and off the court. One can simply tell by looking at his Instagram page. Marcus’ Deer Valley High School volleyball team members were more than just friends of his, as he refers to them as his “brothers” on more than one occasion. Why is Marcus such a collectivist when it comes to the teams he has played on? Volleyball. It’s as simple as that. Volleyball has shaped Marcus into the team player he is today. The sport forced him to carry his own weight, while also having no other choice but to rely on his teammates to carry their own. The dynamic of the word “team” plays out to be true in the sport of volleyball. You can have a great hitter, but without a skilled passer and setter, the hitter will never have an attempt at the ball. Even though the ability to work as a team on the basketball court is also very crucial, a team can give the ball to the best shooter/ball handler to carry the team. In volleyball, working as a team and having each individual have specific tasks for the team to function has shaped him into the great team player he is today. We can see now why he considers his teammates so dear to him.
A McDonald’s All American already possessing a team mentality can be a rare commodity for a player entering their first year of college basketball. Someone like Marcus Lee is a huge bonus for a young team. Not to mention he is a Coach John Calipari dream.
“Together forever. This is just the basics of what I’ve learned from Lou Dowg and Deer Valley volleyball. As long as I have this on I will know that I always have family behind my back. And most important go all out all the time in everything I do. . .” -Marcus Lee