East Ascension's Darnell Lee stepping up for the Spartans hoops team
GONZALES - Darnell Lee wears a lot of hats at East Ascension High School. He is the schools athletic director, head football coach and PE teacher and now he has a new title—interim head basketball coach.
"The previous coach stepped down to focus on some personal business. I stepped in and the rest is history," Lee said.
Lee had experience coaching basketball before. The sport was his first love.
"I thought I was a next Michael Jordan. Hey, I miss me called Barry Murphy and Randy Weitz got me out of a PE class my junior year to go out for football. And, you know, I ended up earning a scholarship to McNeese but that basketball has always been a passion of mine," Lee said.
Lee is trying to use that passion on the hardwood, but sometimes he forgets he's not on the football field.
"Refs had to show me how to be a coach on the sidelines in basketball, you know, in football they give you 10 to 15 seconds. Basketball, they got to keep rolling. I almost got kicked out a few times, but they gave me a pass because I was a football guy," Lee said.
While he has enjoyed stepping in for the Spartans basketball team, when the season's done, he's ready to get back to football.
"I don't want basketball season to end in a hurry. I want our seniors to go as far as they can. But it's only when that final whistle blows I'm sprinting to the Fieldhouse," Lee said.
Down the line, Lee could see himself coaching basketball full time, but for right now he's fully committed to the Spartans football program.
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