The off-the-court honors continue to come in for UK.
For the second consecutive season, the SEC Community Service Team will have Marcus Lee as its Kentucky Wildcats representative. The junior from Antioch, Calif., was tabbed to the 2016 team for his second career honor. He's just the fourth player in Kentucky basketball history to earn this recognition multiple times in a career, joining Saul Smith, Bobby Perry and Jodie Meeks in that company.
On the court, Lee is enjoying the most successful college season while averaging career highs in points (6.7) and rebounds (6.4) while charting the first three double-doubles of his career. He's also got 17 games this season in which he's charted two or more blocks, including eight games of three or more.
Lee, who is also a 2016 Allstate Good Works nominee, has given more than 100 hours to the community in a variety of ways during his three-year career in Lexington. Here's some of the various things Lee has been involved in via UK Athletics:
Lee is the treasurer of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and spearheads several department-wide projects. One of those projects is the God's Pantry outreach in which members of the department pack school lunches and then distribute the lunches to the needy children at the schools. Lee always volunteers to go to the school that allows for an opportunity to also interact with the kids - whether that's playing kickball or encouraging them to continue to do well in school. He also is one of the organizers of the UK Blanket Project in which all of UK's athletes put together blankets and deliver them to sick children in the Children's Hospital around the holidays. The department also volunteers with the Salvation Army during the holidays for bell-ringing duties at a local grocery store, and Lee has volunteered multiple times for that project. He also gives back when he returns to his hometown of Antioch, Calif. Lee is a frequent visitor of his former high school, Deer Valley, going back every time he is home and speaking to various classes he was once a part of.
With his teammates, he has worked with a Samaritan's Feet project while visiting the Bahamas. Lee and his teammates washed the feet of young children and fitted them with new socks and shoes. He's also visited local children's hospitals while at the Final Four, as well as a fan who was injured while attending a game in Rupp Arena. Lee is one of the last players to leave the campout following the players delivering food to the Big Blue Madness campers each year.
Lee also cares about his own teammates and fellow athletes. He's a mainstay in volunteering projects for UK Athletics events like the back to school picnic and the National Student Athlete Day. In the spring of 2015, one of the UK gymnasts was diagnosed with cancer. Lee was one of the biggest supporters in encouraging his fellow athletes to send get well cards, messages and phone calls to her during chemotherapy. During UK's annual CATSPYs presentation, he took the time to have the entire auditorium cheer for support with a live Facetime call so she could see the entire department standing and supporting her.
Congratulations to Lee for this honor and being an awesome representative of UK!