. Former Kansas guard Michael Lee arrived for KU coach Bill Self’s Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony Friday with some big news to share with his former coaches, teammates and friends.
Lee just this week resigned his post as Portland (Ore.) Roosevelt High basketball coach in order to work on lifelong buddy/former KU guard Aaron Miles’ Santa Cruz Warriors NBA G-League staff.
“When Aaron told me he wanted me to come on board with him, I was humbled,” said Lee, a 34-year-old, 2004 KU graduate who played two seasons for Roy Williams and two for Self at KU and also served as graduate student manager on Self’s 2008 NCAA title team coaching staff.
“It’s an amazing opportunity,” Lee said Friday. “It speaks to my basketball career. There’s not a lot of success I’ve had in basketball without Aaron around me. I’m happy. I’m in the pros now. I’ve got a lot to learn. I’ll work hard. I told Aaron, ‘You don’t worry about yelling at me or what you need to do. You are my boss. I’ll do as you say.’ I’m kind of cringing as I say that,” Lee added with a smile.
“He’s excited. I’m excited. It’s going to be fun.”
He and former KU point guard Miles are grads of Portland’s Jefferson High. They actually attended middle school, high school and college together — true definition of best friends.
“It’s surreal,” Lee said. “Right now I’m going to take it one day at a time, one year at a time. Being a head high school coach (the last two seasons) has helped me so much for this position now. Having to think through the whole gamut of things.”
Lee was speaking Friday just outside the Tower Square Hotel, the place 30 or more former KU basketball players are staying Friday and Saturday in support of Self, who on Friday night was to be inducted in the Hall of Fame at nearby Symphony Hall in downtown Springfield, Mass.
“He’s the man,” Lee said of Self. “After meeting him, my life changed for the better. He became my coach and the same time my mentor. I’m honored to say he coached me.”
Others with KU ties seen in the hotel lobby before the ceremony: Danny Manning, Christian Moody, Moulaye Niang, Travis Releford, Kevin Young, Nick Bahe, Kyle Keller, Tim Jankovich, Joe Dooley, Darrell Arthur, Frank Mason, Doc Sadler, Stephen Vinson to name a few.