words by Justin Walsh
Malcolm Lee is fashionably late to the UCLA party. He should have been in L.A. two years ago when a UCLA cheering section at a basketball game made a chant just for him.
As a matter of fact, he should have been at UCLA earlier this summer, but he was busy competing in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship on TEAM USA. But that’s a walk in the park for Lee, who’s already been named to two TEAM USA squads previously (2007 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival White Team and the 2008 USA Junior National Select Team that competed at the ’08 Nike Hoop Summit). He worked out at the Wizards’ training facility this summer…then in Argentina for the U18 Championship itself.
Now that he’s at UCLA (excited, Bruins fans?), he will be the last piece to the backcourt puzzle for UCLA, with returner Darren Collison, and fellow freshman/McDonald’s All-American Jrue Holiday. It seems like UCLA no longer has a rebuilding year–they just stack their team up like Jenga. Just before the NBA takes out too many pieces, they replace them with even better ones. Nobody knows how long the Bruins will have Malcolm in their backcourt, but if history serves as any indication, be prepared for more ceiling banners.