Lee was born in South Korea and grew up in a basketball family. His mother won a silver medal at the 1984 Olympics and his father played semi-professionally and later became a coach. Lee started playing at a young age and became one of the top players in the country.
Despite being far above the competition at home, Lee wanted to challenge himself and see if he could succeed at a higher level. After excelling in several NBA camps in Asia Pacific, Lee was invited to join the NBA Academy.
There, Lee developed on and off the court. He had to learn another language and adjust to a different style of basketball. But it was what Lee wanted and knew what he needed to play at the next level.
“I think this decision really put him on the right track,” Ebersole said. “Having trained under Clark, we all think that Marty is one of the best in the business in terms of player development, especially in this age group. But then Bob McKillop is in Davidson and will be with him for three seasons. You can see the impact training has had on him.”
Lee continued to evolve and turned his tenure with the NBA Academy into over 20 Division I offers in the United States. He eventually moved to Davidson and improved each season with the Wildcats under McKillop.
He really burst onto the scene as a sophomore last year.
Lee averaged 13.5 points, four rebounds and 2.5 assists in 22 games. He shot 50.8% from the field, 44.2% from three-point range and 90% from the free throw line, becoming only the 11th Division I player ever to go 50-40-90 in a season.
“He has always been an amazing shooter and we knew that from the first day we played with Lee,” Ebersole said. “It was about whether he could embody the shooting that he would do in training and practice. Will he be able to translate that into games at a fairly high level when competing against really high level athletes? I think he clearly proved that, especially this last season and the previous season when he was a 50-40-90 guy. It’s pretty remarkable to be one of the few players in history (to achieve this).
Hyunjong Lee (English)@hylee_1023) joined the elusive 50/40/90 club during his second season in @DavidsonMBB and believes his shooting will help him become the second Korean ever to play in the NBA.#GoldOnWatch pic.twitter.com/hIx0Y65BWp
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) May 14, 2022
Last season at Davidson, Lee faced the challenge of developing his game. He worked more to convert his shot in many ways and become more than just a shooter. He also improved his defense, which will ultimately determine whether he can hit the floor in the NBA.
Lee was 6ft 8in at the NBA G League elite camp last month with a wingspan of 6ft 9in. He has good positional size and has been one of the best on the court during practice, leading the shooting drill.
The 21-year-old is only scratching the surface in terms of his potential. He has worked with at least six teams during the pre-draft and is eager to put his country on the map.
He could be a player to watch in the future.
“The improvements he made were something that I think a lot of people didn’t talk about that much,” Ebersole said. “The toughness with which he plays. I think for him, if he’s able to be a good defenseman and then combine that with how pivotal his offensive shot can be, he’s got a really good chance of establishing himself in the NBA.”