A former NBA player won a championship alongside all-time greats, but his story didn’t end there.
Butch Lee won an NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1979. And now he is able to tell others that his son was part of a Cinderella story in the NCAA tournament last year.
Butch Lee was selected by the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the 1978 NBA DraftCredit: Getty
In 1979-80, Butch won a championship ring with the Lakers, who went on to beat the Philadelphia 76ers in that season’s NBA FinalsCredit: Getty
Butch’s son, Matthew, was part of Saint Peter’s No. 15 seed team that made it to the Elite 8 in the 2021-22 NCAA tournamentCredit: Getty
Born in Puerto Rico, Butch grew up in the Bronx, New York, and began his college career at Marquette University in 1974.
The point guard earned multiple All-American honors and was selected as the Most Outstanding Player at the 1977 Final Four, where he led the team to the school’s first national title.
Lee would be selected by the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the 1978 NBA Draft.
He’d be traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers mid-season in his rookie season.
Still, Lee ended up scoring an average of 9.6 points per game in his first season in the NBA.
In 1979, the then-second-year player needed knee surgery and was then traded to the Lakers, where he played 11 games alongside Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabaar.
Butch would average 1.3 points per game on those 11 appearances but would win an NBA championship ring as the Lakers went on to beat the Philadelphia 76ers in that season’s NBA Finals.
Lee’s injury, unfortunately, would force him to retire.
Butch’s son, Matthew Lee, followed in his father’s footsteps to play basketball in college.
Matthew is a fifth-year player at Missouri State.
In 2021-22, he played at Saint Peter’s University out of New Jersey.
And Matthew was part of a No. 15 seed team that made it to the Elite 8 in that season’s NCAA tournament.
In one of the tournament’s games, Matthew scored nine points and dished out four assists.
During that run, Saint Peter’s defeated No. 2 seed Kentucky in overtime.
They also were the third No. 15 seed to make it to Sweet 16, beating Murray State 70-60.
“I’m just so happy and proud that [Matthew] got a chance to live out some of his dreams,” Butch told CBS 58 in 2022.
“That’s the dream of every college basketball player, to get into the NCAA tournament and possibly make a run.”
Matthew wears the same number as Butch’s 15.
Butch, who is fluent in English and Spanish, was a coach in Puerto Rico for five years.