“What do you want to be when you grow up?” The most asked question of any child in the world. Many kids have dreams of becoming singers, doctors, lawyers, and of course; professional athletes. As we grow, many of those dreams change and maybe we realize that we weren’t actually cut out for the career we dreamt about as a child. Darius Lee had a dream of becoming a professional basketball player. He chased this dream relentlessly. He dedicated so much of his time perfecting his craft; from school teams to summer leagues, to development clinics, Darius was determined to make his dream a reality. When Darius didn’t get drafted to a D1 school upon graduating high school, he didn’t quit or wallow in self pity. Darius went to Sullivan Community College, improved his academics and showed every D1 school what they were missing! From Sullivan, Darius would go on to play for Houston Baptist University were he would dominate the division becoming Player of the Year.
Darius wasn't just a ball player; he had a brilliant mind as well. He was scheduled to graduate on December 16, 2022 with a Bachelor's degree in Sports Management but Darius’ dreams and goals were stolen until he was senselessly gunned down in a random mass shooting Father’s Day weekend, June 20th, 2022 while at home on college break visiting his family. NYPD is still investigating his murder and asking for help that would lead to an arrest of the person or persons responsible.
Darius Lee aka DLEE23 was a hometown star with a humble spirit. Raised in Harlem, Darius attended St. Mark School. This is where his love for the game of basketball began. Having a court directly in front of his home, Darius could be found playing ball all hours of the day and night on the very court that was recently named in his Honor thanks to the hundreds of citizens who signed petitions.
Darius was a big kid at heart who treasured family. So much so that he struggled with the decision of leaving them and moving to Texas to attend Houston Baptist University. However, it was there that Darius’ years of training began to take off; he loved and studied basketball. Determined to push beyond his own limits; in one of Darius’ final NCAA basketball games before his death, he tied the school's record scoring. That night Darius had 52 points, 18 rebounds, 5 assist, and 3 steals in a single game.
In honor of Darius’ dream, his determination, and work ethic The DLee23 Foundation was created. The DLee23 Foundation is committed to continuing the legacy of this educated, talented, respectable, charismatic young man who believed in following his own path and doing it his way.
"The LEE Way!"