Baytown-based Lee College men's basketball team aims for national championship

ByJoe Gleason KTRK logo
Sunday, March 24, 2024
National Junior College Athletic Association Basketball Tournament: Lee College takes on Wallace State at Hutchinson Sports Arena
The Baytown-based Lee College's men's basketball team ended their regular season at No. 5 in the nation after winning the conference for the second year in a row. The Lee College Navigators open their championship run on Sunday against Wallace State.

BAYTOWN, Texas (KTRK) -- The University of Houston is not the only school in the Houston area looking for a national championship. Lee College in Baytown is having a historic season and would like to finish the year as Junior College National Champions.

"It means everything to me, and I feel it means everything to my teammates as well," guard Dayvaughn Froe said. "I'm super excited to show everyone what we can do."

For the Lee College Navigators, the men's basketball team is building a winning tradition.

"What makes us successful is that everybody here wants to win," freshman guard Bryce Smith said. "We don't care who's successful. We just want to win."

The winning culture starts at the top, with head coach Nicholas Wade.

"This group is hungry. We're not just happy to be there," Wade said. "We know we can go there and compete, and we're really excited to take our talents to Hutchinson and compete at the highest level on the biggest stage."

Coach Wade grew up in the Highlands, a community just north of Baytown. His first coaching job out of college was at Lee as an assistant.

"This is where I learned my habits and willingness to compete," he said.

He has led the Navigators to an 81-16 record in his three years as head coach. They ended the season at No. 5 in the nation after winning the conference for the second year in a row. They've qualified for the national tournament twice in the last three years.

"Our kids are graduating. Our kids are respectful. Our kids do the right thing in the community," Wade said. "I've always wanted this to be the standard here. I not only want us to enjoy winning, but relish in it and do what it takes to win.

Lee College opens their championship run on Sunday at 9:30 p.m. against Wallace State.