Lee University sent all of its assistant basketball coaches to Notre Dame High School to watch senior guard Stedmon Ford play Tuesday night. Little did they know that Lee's history already had won him over.
The 5-foot-10 four-year starting point guard committed Thursday to continue his career at the Cleveland school, which is ranked No. 2 in NAIA Division I and will be making the jump to NCAA Division II next season.
Ford averaged 23 points, eight assists and 3.8 steals this year. He has been all-district all four seasons of high school and was an area Best of Preps and Class AA all-state selection last year.
"I'm relieved to have this decision made," he said. "It's always been my goal to play college basketball, and Lee kept in touch every day and seemed to want me the most. It's close to home, plus I have dreams of playing basketball overseas, and they send a lot of players there."
Ford said he's considering business and sports medicine as potential majors and would like to be an athletic trainer after his playing career. Lee has an athletic training program.
"This is fantastic for Stedmon's education," Notre Dame coach J.P. Nermun said. "Lee is a good school, and they wanted him. It's good to go where you are wanted, where you can play a lot of minutes. That's good for a player.
"I know that playing in Europe is in Stedmon's long-term plans, so Lee is a great place to go."
Contact Gene Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6311. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/genehenleytfyp.