NCAA Division I Sports
NCAA Division I Sports
Born: December 5, 1956
Hometown: San Juan, PR
High School: DeWitt Clinton H.S. (Bronx, NY)
Lee was born in the area of San Juan, Puerto Rico to an American couple. Lee's family moved to The Bronx, New York, U.S., two days after his birth. He went on to study at the DeWitt Clinton High School.
Lee showed talent for basketball since an early age, and he impressed many college scouts with his game style.
As a junior at New York City's DeWitt Clinton, Lee led his team to the city championship. A year later, he averaged 25 ppg and led them to a 2nd place finish.
During his senior year, Lee accumulated accolade after accolade: first team All-New York and All-Bronx; top prep scholar/athlete in New York City; made every high school All-American team; top point guard prospect in the country; and MVP of the McDonalds' Classic, a national prep All-Star game (picked over Moses Malone).
Lee was named the 1974 Eastern Player of the Year and one of the nation's top ten prep players by The Sporting News.
He received scholarship contacts from over 300 schools including UCLA, Maryland and Duke.
Lee later accepted the offer to play for Marquette.
Alfred “Butch” Lee was the most valuable player of the 1977 NCAA Final Four after leading Marquette to the national title. He was a first-team consensus All-American as a senior, being named to All-American teams by Associated Press, United Press International, The Sporting News, Basketball Writers and Basketball Weekly. Lee was named ’77-78 Player of the Year by AP (The Rupp Award), UPI (The Naismith Award) and Basketball Weekly.
Lee averaged 8.3 points per game as a freshman, 13.7 points per game as a sophomore and 19.6 points per game as a junior. During his senior season, he paced the team in scoring with a 17.7 points per game average. While helping MU to the national title in ’77, he received second-team All-America status. He recorded 1,735 points during his career, still good for the No. 2 spot all-time at Marquette, and his 84.8 percentage in free throw shooting is second all-time at Marquette. He stands second on the school’s career chart in field goals with 666 and second in field goal attempts with 1,403. He had his jersey number of 15 retired by the school and was inducted into the Marquette Hall of Fame in 1985.
In 1974 Lee asked his coach Al McGuire to allow him to play for the United States Olympic basketball team. However, his coach had sent someone else and Lee went to Puerto Rico where he qualified for the Puerto Rican national basketball team. When Puerto Rico played against the U.S. in the 1976 Olympic Games, Lee made 15 out of 18 field goals and scored 35 points. The U.S. avoided an upset, defeating Puerto Rico by one point, 95-94.
Alfred “Butch” Lee is the first Puerto Rican national to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Lee played for the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Los Angeles Lakers while in the NBA, as well as the National Superior Basketball League of Puerto Rico (BSN). Lee was also a member of the Puerto Rican National Basketball Team, including the 1976 Puerto Rican squad that came close to defeating the United States.
Lee was chosen in the first round of the 1978 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks. During Lee's first season in the NBA (1978-1979), he started with the Hawks averging 7.7 points per game during 49 games. He was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he enjoyed what was perhaps his best games in the NBA, scoring 11.5 points per game in the remaining 33 games of the season. He ended up scoring an average of 9.6 points per game in his first season as an NBA player. Lee led the league in games played with 82.
After three games with the Cavs in the 1979-1980 season, Lee suffered an injury that would prove to be too big of an obstacle for him to overcome as far as his basketball career was concerned. He only scored 1.3 points per game on those three games. After the season was over, he would be traded once again, to the Los Angeles Lakers, where, he played alongside Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, among others, for eleven games, before his injury recurred, forcing him to retire. He did, however, get an NBA championship ring, as the Lakers went on to beat the Philadelphia 76ers in that season's NBA Finals.
Lee, who is fluent in Spanish, returned to Puerto Rico after his experience as an NBA basketball player was over. There, he became a well known and respected head coach with multiple BSN teams.
As of 2004, he is still coaching in Puerto Rico's professional basketball league.