Lee looking to lead by example

Kerry Ellington

Monique Lee, a second-year starting forward for the Quinnipiac women’s basketball team, is determined to lead her team this season in the absence of last year’s leading scorer, Krystal Pressley, who transferred to American International College.

At 6-foot-1, Lee led the Bobcats in rebounding and was the second-leading scorer last season. Although Lee was not named as a team captain for the upcoming season, she plans on having a leadership role on the team.

“I don’t feel like I need to be captain to be a leader. When other people see you work hard, they will work hard,” Lee said.

Lee, who held the NCAA record for the most rebounds in a game last season, said she intends to do better this year.

“I want to elevate my game,” said Lee, who hopes to improve her outside shot, free throws and her guard defense. “Looking back now, it seems like I could have done better. I missed free throws in games that we could have won. I would love to be in that position again.”

But her main concern this season is not putting up big numbers.

“Helping my team win is more important,” Lee said.

Lee wants to help the younger players adjust to the team and provide support for them.

“I want to make everybody comfortable. I want to make them better, and try to make it fun,” Lee said.

Lee also seeks to improve her academics. Lee’s grades suffered as a freshman and she ended the year with a 2.0 GPA. She found it tough to balance her studies and basketball.

“It was a difficult combination,” Lee, who is an advertising major, said. “Being a sophomore I’m taking last year as a learning experience. I am glad I was able to overcome it.”

Lee got her start playing basketball at the age of six. She attended a basketball clinic run by Bill Barbosa, a close family friend and Lee’s elementary school coach in Lynn, Mass. Since then she has traveled to Canada, Texas and Florida to play basketball.

She said basketball has only opened doors for her. She is most proud of her athletic scholarship that allowed her to take the burden of college tuition off her parents.

Lee hopes her love for basketball will rub off on the younger players.

“When some players get here they lose that fierceness to want to be competitive and win. You have to reach deep to find it again,” Lee said.