We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Yale is next by request of Ivy Player of the Year Justin Sears, who is sure to show up on this list at some point himself:
— Justin Sears (@Jussears5) July 10, 2015
It isn”t the John J. Lee Amphitheater for nothing.
After gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated in January and averaging over 24 points per game in Ivy play, Lee led his Yale team to the 1957 NCAA Tournament, where the Elis fell at Madison Square Garden to highly regarded North Carolina, 90-74, despite Lee”s 25-point performance.
Lee remains the last Yale player to score 40 or more points in a game and was later elected to both the online casino All-Ivy League Silver Anniversary Team and the National Association of Basketball Coaches” Silver Anniversary All-American League Team.
After graduating in 1959, Lee endowed a foreign travel fund for men”s and women”s basketball, and helped fund the renovation of the main varsity sports amphitheater now named after him. He also supported Yale”s policy of selecting students on academic merit regardless of ability to pay. Lee, who died in 2001, will likely be remembered for his outstanding fundraising efforts for Yale, but the 1956-57 Ivy League championship came first for Lee (and the rest of the league, as the championship marked the first for the modern iteration of the conference).