Butch Lee

Alfred "Butch" Lee, Jr. (born December 5, 1956) is a Puerto Rican retired professional basketball player. He began his career in the NCAA, where he gathered several "Player of the Year" recognitions and earned All-American honors as both a junior and senior while at Marquette University. Lee was selected as the Most Outstanding Player at the 1977 Final Four where he led the Warriors to the school's first national championship. The university recognized this by retiring his jersey. Lee was the first Puerto Rican and Latin American-born athlete to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA), accomplishing this after being selected in the first round of the 1978 NBA draft.[1] There he played for the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers. Lee concluded his career in the Baloncesto Superior Nacional (BSN). He is known to be the only Puerto Rican professional basketball player to win championships in the NCAA, NBA, and BSN. Lee was a member of the Puerto Rican national team.

Butch Lee
Personal information
BornDecember 5, 1956 (age 62)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
NationalityPuerto Rican
Listed height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Listed weight185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High schoolDeWitt Clinton
(The Bronx, New York)
CollegeMarquette (1974–1978)
NBA draft1978 / Round: 1 / Pick: 10th overall
Selected by the Atlanta Hawks
Playing career1975–1990
PositionPoint guard
Career history
As player:
1975–1977Cardenales de Río Piedras
1978–1979Atlanta Hawks
19791980Cleveland Cavaliers
1980Los Angeles Lakers
1984Cardenales de Río Piedras
1985Brujos de Guayama
1985Atléticos de San Germán
1986–1989Leones de Ponce
1990Polluelos de Aibonito
As coach:
1999Indios de Mayagüez
2001–2002Tiburones de Aguadilla
2002–2004Gigantes de Carolina
2009Cangrejeros de Santurce
Career highlights and awards
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Playing career

Early life and college

Lee was born in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico to Gloria and Alfred Lee, Sr. Lee's family moved to Harlem, New York, U.S., when he was a young child. There he went on to become a 1st Team, PSAL All City basketball player and honor student at the DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx. Lee showed talent for basketball since an early age, and he impressed many college scouts with his game style. He accepted an offer to play for Marquette University, starring there from 1974 to 1978. In 1974 Lee asked his coach Al McGuire to allow him to play for the United States Olympic basketball team. However, his coach had sent someone else and Lee went to Puerto Rico where he qualified for the Puerto Rican national basketball team. When Puerto Rico played against the U.S. in the 1976 Summer Olympics, Lee made 15 out of 18 field goals and scored 35 points. The U.S. still avoided an upset, defeating Puerto Rico by one point, 95-94.

In 1977, Lee led Marquette to the Final Four in what McGuire had announced would be his final season. The Warriors defeated UNC-Charlotte 51-49 in the semifinal round when Lee found Jerome Whitehead with a length of the court pass for a score just before the buzzer. In the final against North Carolina, Lee scored 19 points and led the Warriors to a come-from-behind 67-59 victory to secure the national championship. Lee was named the tournament's most outstanding player.

Lee in the NBA

Lee then went on to become the first Puerto Rican player to play in the National Basketball Association, when he was chosen in the first round of the 1978 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks.

During Lee's first season in the NBA (1978-79), he started with the Hawks averaging 7.7 points per game during 49 games. He was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he enjoyed what were perhaps his best games in the league, scoring 11.5 points per game in the remaining 33 games of the season. He ended up scoring an average of 9.6 points per game in his first season in the NBA. Lee led the league in games played with 82.

After three games with the Cavs in the 1979-1980 season, Lee suffered a knee injury[2] that would require surgery,[3] and proved to be too big of an obstacle for him to overcome as far as his basketball career was concerned. He only scored 1.3 points per game on those three games. Before the season was over, he would be traded once again, to the Los Angeles Lakers, where, he played alongside Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, among others, for eleven games, before his injury recurred, forcing him to retire. He did, however, win an NBA championship ring, as the Lakers went on to beat the Philadelphia 76ers in that season's NBA Finals.

Career stats

Lee's NBA stats in 96 games are 779 points with an 8.1 PPG average, 307 assists with a 3.2 APG average, 137 rebounds with a 1.4 RPG average, 87 steals with a 0.9 SPG average, a .450 field goal percentage, and a .761 free-throw percentage.[4]

Coaching career

Lee, who is fluent in Spanish, returned to Puerto Rico after his experience as an NBA basketball player was over. There, he became a well known and respected head coach with multiple BSN teams.

In 1992, Lee led the Capitanes de Arecibo to the BSN Finals, where they lost to the Leones de Ponce in 6 games.[5] He also coached Aguadilla, Ponce and the Gigantes de Carolina.

In January 2009, he was announced as the new coach of the Cangrejeros de Santurce.[6] However, he was dismissed during the playoffs after Santurce lost two games in a row.[7]

He continued to help out with teams and coached some of them at the Guaynabo Basketball Academy (GBA).

See also


  1. ^ Joshua Motenko (2006-07-10). "The Globalization of Basketball: Latin America". NBADraft.net. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
  2. ^ "Butch Lee tears cartilage in his knee". Wausau Daily Herald. Wausau, Wisconsin. AP. August 18, 1979. Retrieved April 1, 2017 – via newspapers.com.
  3. ^ "Butch Lee Back But Not Ready". Albuquerque Journal. Albuquerque, New Mexico. AP. December 12, 1979. Retrieved April 1, 2017 – via newspapers.com.
  4. ^ Butch Lee statistics Archived 2007-11-28 at the Wayback Machine at basketballreference.com
  5. ^ Capitanes de Arecibo History Archived 2011-02-21 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Butch Lee, nuevo dirigente de Santurce" by AP, from El Nuevo Día (January 13, 2009)
  7. ^ "Santurce queda fuera de la lucha por la serie semifinal" by AP, from El Expreso (July 6, 2009)

External links

1976–77 Marquette Warriors men's basketball team

The 1976–77 Marquette Warriors men's basketball team represented Marquette University in the 1976–77 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Warriors played their home games at the MECCA Arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as a Division I Independent. They were led by head coach Al McGuire in his 13th and final year at Marquette. The Warriors finished the season 25–7. They received a bid to the NCAA Tournament where they defeated Cincinnati, Kansas State, and Wake Forest to advance to the Final Four. At the Final Four, they defeated UNC Charlotte to advance to the National Championship game where they defeated North Carolina to win the National Championship.Butch Lee, the tournament’s most outstanding player, and Bo Ellis were the stars of a team that reflected the street-wise toughness of its coach. In the final AP poll released prior to the Sweet Sixteen, Marquette moved from sixteenth to seven in the rankings. Following the season, head coach Al McGuire retired.Since this season, Marquette has returned to the Final Four only once, in 2003.

1977 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament

The 1977 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament involved 32 American schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the National Champion of Men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on Saturday, March 12, 1977, and ended with the championship game on Monday, March 28 in Atlanta. A total of 32 games were played, including a national third place game. This was the final tournament in which teams were not seeded.

Marquette, coached by Al McGuire, won the national title with a 67–59 victory in the final game over North Carolina, coached by Dean Smith. Butch Lee of Marquette was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Publicly announcing his retirement during the middle of the season, McGuire retired as head coach immediately after the game. UNLV and UNC Charlotte were third and fourth place, respectively. Marquette's seven losses were a record at the time for the most losses in a season by a national champion, exceeded four years later in 1981 by Indiana with nine.

All four regionals were played on Thursday and Saturday. The opening round the preceding weekend played twelve games on Saturday and four on Sunday.As of the 2019 NCAA Tournament, this was the last time the six Division I college basketball-playing schools in the Philadelphia metropolitan area – Drexel, La Salle, Penn, St. Joseph's, Temple, and Villanova – were collectively shut out of the NCAA Tournament.

1977 NCAA Men's Basketball All-Americans

The consensus 1977 College Basketball All-American team, as determined by aggregating the results of four major All-American teams. To earn "consensus" status, a player must win honors from a majority of the following teams: the Associated Press, the USBWA, The United Press International and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

1978 NCAA Men's Basketball All-Americans

The consensus 1978 College Basketball All-American team, as determined by aggregating the results of four major All-American teams. To earn "consensus" status, a player must win honors from a majority of the following teams: the Associated Press, the USBWA, The United Press International and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

Alfred Lee

Alfred Lee may refer to:

Butch Lee (Alfred Lee, born 1956), Puerto Rican basketball player

Alfred Lee (bishop) (1807–1887), American Protestant Episcopal bishop

Alfred Lee (composer) (1839–1906), composer of many Victorian music hall songs, "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze" and "The Chipmunk Songbook"

Alfred McClung Lee (1903–1992), American sociologist, past president of American Sociological Association

Baloncesto Superior Nacional

The Baloncesto Superior Nacional, abbreviated as BSN, is the first tier level professional men's basketball league in Puerto Rico. It was founded in 1929 and is organized by the Puerto Rican Basketball Federation.

The Baloncesto Superior Nacional, which is played under FIBA rules, currently consists of 8 teams, of which the most successful have been Leones de Ponce, Atléticos de San Germán and Vaqueros de Bayamón with 14 titles each. The league has produced players that have distinguished themselves in the NBA, EuroLeague, Spain's ACB, and other tournaments throughout the world. Among them, NBA players Butch Lee, José Ortiz, Ramón Rivas, Daniel Santiago, Carlos Arroyo and José Juan Barea started their careers playing for BSN teams.

Brandon, Mississippi

Brandon is a city in Rankin County, Mississippi, United States. Brandon was incorporated December 19, 1831. The population was 21,705 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Rankin County. Brandon is part of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area, and is located east of the state capital.

Butch Edge

Claude Lee Edge (born July 18, 1956 in Houston, Texas) is a former pitcher in Major League Baseball.

Butch Lee (ice hockey)

Allan "Butch" Lee (born October 28, 1929 in Pierson, Manitoba, Canada) was a Canadian ice hockey defenceman who played 28 seasons with the Pierson Bruins.

Don Ford

Donald J. "Don" Ford (born December 31, 1952) is a retired American professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was a 6'9" (2.06 m), 215 lb (97.5 kg) forward. In high school, he played at Santa Barbara High School and the other forward on his teams was future UCLA and NBA star Keith Wilkes (later Jamaal Wilkes). He played collegiately at the University of New Mexico before transferring to the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Ford was selected with the second pick of the sixth round of the 1975 NBA Draft by the L.A. Lakers. He spent four-and-a-half seasons with the Lakers before he was traded along with a 1980 first round draft pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Butch Lee and a 1982 first round draft pick, which ultimately became first overall pick James Worthy.After he was released by the Cavaliers in 1982, Ford spent two years playing professionally in Italy. Over 474 NBA games, he averaged 6.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists. In 1989, he was named assistant coach and director of community relations to the Santa Barbara Islanders of the Continental Basketball Association.Ford was married to Sharon Tate's sister Patti, with whom he had three children. Today, he lives in Santa Barbara where he works as a real estate agent, as well as serving as color commentator on UCSB basketball radio broadcasts.

Jerome Whitehead

Jerome Whitehead (September 30, 1956 – December 20, 2012) was an American professional basketball player. He was selected by the San Diego Clippers in the second round (41st overall) of the 1978 NBA draft. A 6'10" center-forward from Marquette University, Whitehead played in 11 National Basketball Association (NBA) seasons from 1978 to 1989. He played for the Clippers, Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs.

In his NBA career, Whitehead played in 679 games and scored a total of 4,423 points.In his junior season at Marquette University, Whitehead helped lead his Warriors to the 1977 national championship. In the semi-final game of the Final Four that season, Whitehead made a game-winning basket at the buzzer in the 1977 national semifinal victory over UNC-Charlotte on a length-of-the-court pass from Butch Lee. Previous to that, UNC-Charlotte's Cedric Maxwell had tied the game with only 3 seconds remaining. The game appeared to be headed for overtime when Whitehead's bucket won the game for the Warriors.

On December 20, 2012, Whitehead was found dead; an autopsy performed on December 21 found Whitehead died as a result of gastrointestinal hemorrhaging.

List of U.S. men's college basketball national player of the year awards

This article lists U.S. men's college basketball national player of the year awards. Several different organizations sponsor an award for the nation's top player.

Marquette Golden Eagles men's basketball

The Marquette Golden Eagles men's basketball team (formerly the Marquette Hilltoppers, Marquette Warriors, and Marquette Gold) represents Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Marquette currently competes in the Big East. It last played in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in 2019. Marquette maintains rivalries and highly anticipated games with several other schools, including Villanova University, Georgetown University, and DePaul University. The team plays its home games at Fiserv Forum in downtown Milwaukee, where the Milwaukee Bucks NBA team also plays, which opened in September 2018 as the replacement for both teams' home of the previous 30 seasons, the Bradley Center. Despite only having 8,000 undergraduates, Marquette was ranked 10th in average attendance among NCAA Division 1 teams in 2009 and 2010.

Marquette Gymnasium

Marquette Gymnasium is a gymnasium on the campus of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, built in 1922. The building was the first full-time home of the Marquette men's basketball team before they moved, originally part-time, to the Milwaukee Arena. In later years, the building served as a practice facility for the team, as well as the home of the women's basketball and volleyball teams before the completion of the Al McGuire Center. Currently the building houses offices for the Intercollegiate Athletics department (including the Cross Country, Track, soccer, tennis and golf teams) and the school's Army and Naval ROTC departments.It was traditionally known in the Marquette community as the "Old Gym." Legendary Marquette basketball coach Al McGuire and his powerhouse Marquette men's basketball teams of the 1960s and 1970s (an era in which Marquette was a perennial NCAA tournament team and was often ranked in the top 10 of national polls) practiced almost exclusively in the Old Gym. Famous MU basketball players and coaches who called the Old Gym home on a daily basis included George Thompson, Dean "The Dream" Meminger, Jim Chones, Bob Lackey, Maurice Lucas, Earl Tatum, Bo Ellis, Allie McGuire, Jerome Whitehead, Butch Lee, Sam Worthen, Doc Rivers, Tony Smith, Jim McIlvaine, Dwyane Wade and Travis Diener...as well as Marquette coaches Tex Winter, Eddie Hickey, Al McGuire, Hank Raymonds, Rick Majerus, Kevin O'Neill, and Tom Crean.

NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player

At the conclusion of the NCAA men's and women's Division I basketball championships (the "Final Four" tournaments), the Associated Press selects a Most Outstanding Player. The MOP need not be, but almost always is, a member of the Championship team, especially since the third-place game was eliminated after 1981. The last man to win the award despite not being on the Championship team was Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston) in 1983. Dawn Staley (Virginia) was the only woman to do so, when she won the award in 1991.

Naismith College Player of the Year

The Naismith College Player of the Year is an annual basketball award given by the Atlanta Tipoff Club to the top men's and women's collegiate basketball players. It is named in honor of the inventor of basketball (in 1891), Dr. James Naismith.

Puerto Rico at the 1976 Summer Olympics

Puerto Rico competed at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. 80 competitors, 73 men and 7 women, took part in 74 events in 12 sports.

Ramón Rivas

Juan Ramón Rivas Contreras (born March 16, 1966) is a Puerto Rican retired professional basketball player, and sports color commentator. Rivas was the third player from Puerto Rico to play in the NBA (after Butch Lee and José Ortiz), and half of the first duo of Puerto Ricans to be active in the NBA simultaneously (with Ortiz). Rivas has played in the NBA, NCAA Division I, and in the Puerto Rican National Superior League (BSN), with the Carolina Giants.

Rivas also played internationally, in Spain, Greece, and Italy. Rivas was also a member of the senior Puerto Rican National Basketball Team for several years. He represented Puerto Rico at the following tournaments: the 1986 FIBA World Championship, in Málaga, Spain; the 1988 Summer Olympic Games, in Seoul, South Korea; the 1990 FIBA World Championship, in Buenos Aires, Argentina; the 1992 Summer Olympic Games, in Barcelona, Spain; and the 1996 Summer Olympics, in Atlanta, United States.

Terry Furlow

Terry Furlow (October 18, 1954 – May 23, 1980) was an American basketball player. Furlow was a 6-foot-4-inch (1.93 m) shooting guard from Flint, Michigan. He played collegiately at Michigan State. In 1975–76, as a senior, he led the Big Ten in scoring, and finished his career at MSU with 1717 points – which places him seventh on the Spartans' all-time scoring list. The 50 points he scored against Iowa on January 5, 1976, is still the Michigan State men's all-time single-game scoring record.Furlow was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 12th overall pick in the 1976 NBA Draft; he was also selected in the sixth round of the 1975 ABA draft by the Memphis Sounds. In 1977, he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he averaged 11.0 points in one-and-a-half seasons with the team. In 1979, he was traded to the Atlanta Hawks for point guard Butch Lee, and midway through the 1979–80 season, he was traded to the Utah Jazz, where he averaged a career-best 16 points per game.

On May 23, 1980, Furlow was killed in a car accident when he crashed into a pole on Interstate 71 in Linndale, Ohio. An autopsy report confirmed he had cocaine and Valium in his bloodstream when he died. He left behind one son, Terrence O'Neal Paige from Hammond, Indiana.

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