Big Rapids freshman DJ Lee adapting to varsity hoops

Freshman starting point guard DJ Lee (2) will be tasked with directing the Cardinals’ offense. (Pioneer photo/Maxwell Harden)

BIG RAPIDS — It’s been tough sledding for the Big Rapids boys basketball team.

The Cardinals are 0-2 on the young season and are looking for ways to right the ship. Freshman point guard DJ Lee figures to play a significant role in helping Big Rapids defend its CSAA Gold title.

Lee’s first taste of high school varsity basketball just so happened to be on the road against rival Morley Stanwood. The Cardinals lost 53-30 but Lee showed flashes of his ballhandling, passing, and dribble penetration skill. It was a learning experience he was happy to have.

“I think the experience was great,” he said. “I learned a lot. I tried to push the tempo and make things happen for my teammates.”

In his second career game, Lee tallied nine points and six assists in a 52-48 loss to McBain. Head coach Kent Ingles sees a lot of promise in his point guard.

“DJ is ready,” Ingles said. “He understands the game. (McBain) had a hard time controlling him. He struggled in our first game but for most rookies, that would’ve been it. That wasn’t it for him, he came back and played hard.”

This season will be a special one for Lee as he gets to play varsity basketball with his older brother, Dorian Martin. Martin sees the potential his brother has and looks forward to playing team ball with him this season.

“I’m looking forward to having fun with my younger brother,” Martin said. “I’m looking forward to us having a better season than last year. If we play to our potential, we’ll be a pretty good team.”

Lee knows his strengths and weaknesses and aims to work on both aspects this year.

“My role is to make everybody better and push the tempo,” he said. “I make good passes and do a little bit of everything. I’m fast and handle the ball very well. Sometimes I can shoot. I can get open buckets and get guys open looks. I’ve been working on my shot.”

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