Josh Lee, one of the top boys basketball players in Mississippi, has transferred from Velma Jackson High to Hartfield Academy and instantly made the Hawks a contender for the MAIS Overall championship.
Lee, a 6-foot-2 rising senior point guard, was a first team selection on the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard All Metro Jackson boys basketball team this past season. He comes from one of the top public school programs in Mississippi. Velma Jackson has won the Class 3A state title five times in the past eight years. Lee averaged 23.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists and led the Falcons to a 30-6 record – one of only four teams to win 30 games this past season – and a Class 3A runner-up finish. As a sophomore, Lee was one of Velma Jackson’s starters and helped the Falcons to the 3A state title. He scored a team-high 15 points in the championship game. Velma Jackson finished ranked No. 11 and No. 14 in Mississippi by MaxPreps the past two seasons.
Lee is eligible to play immediately because he transferred from an MHSAA school to an MAIS school.
“Coming into my senior year, I wasn’t where I’d like to be as a player,” Lee told Mississippi Scoreboard. “Hartfield is a place where I believe I can be consistently challenged. On top of that, Hartfield has great people to be around that want to be better every day. (Hartfield head) Coach (Steven) Makamson and (assistant) Coach (Ronnie) Clark see the player I am now and what I can become. I’m excited for a new start here at Hartfield.”
“Josh is a very talented player. Not only does he have ability, but he also has high basketball IQ and is extremely coachable,” said Makamson, who is in his sixth season at Rankin County school. “He is a very well rounded point guard, able to handle the ball, find open teammates and has terrific range. Josh is fitting in really well with our team. He and Jonathan Lucas already have a friendship developed through AAU. They will make a great combo. I look for both to make big impacts for us this season as well as on the collegiate level.”
Lucas, a 6-7 rising senior forward, averaged 12.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2 assists per game last season for Hartfield, which finished 21-10 and was eliminated by 2019 Overall champion Heritage Academy in the first round of the Class 4A State Tournament. The other returning starter for the Hawks is Jake Jesiolowski, a 6-foot rising senior forward.