When USC received 4-star athlete Marqise Lee’s Letter of Intent, coach Lane Kiffin was ecstatic about getting a commitment from a player of his caliber.
Lee (Serra, Gardena, Calif.) has the capability to play on either side of the ball. While playing for Serra High School , Lee played both wide receiver receiver and defensive back, and as a result, Kiffin has an interesting dilemma as where to play Lee.
Another possibility for Lee may be as a guard, not for the football team, but for the basketball team. Lee, who played in both of Serra’s CIF Southern Section champion basketball and football teams, would be a welcome addition to the Trojan basketball team.
Kiffin has given Lee the go ahead to walk on to the basketball team if he wants to, and basketball coach Kevin O’Neill, wouldn’t mind the help. The Trojans, with the transfer of guard Bryce Jones, are lacking depth and would welcome Lee’s athleticism.
“If Lane says he can walk on, he can walk on,” O’Neill said following Tuesday’s practice. “We’ll be happy to have him walk on.”
Ultimately, though, the decision, O’Neill said, is up to Kiffin and Lee.
“I think he’s a good player,” O’Neill said. “Hopefully he’s a guy who has a good football career first. We’ll take our lead from football as far as what they want him to do basketball-wise.”
Lee’s dual-sport athleticism between football and basketball would not be the first, as football player Jordan Cameron walked on to the basketball team in 2008-09 but received little playing time.