Dime: You came to the park today with a mean mug on your face and it never came off until you won. Any reason why you didn’t change your expression the whole time?
Tony Lee: I mean it is basketball. This is what I do for a living. Any time I step on the court, I go hard and try to win. There is no smiling when I get on the court. The only time I smile is when I am off the court.
Dime: How would you describe your career at Robert Morris?
TL: Someday I hope to go into the hall of fame there. I have all sorts of records. I am the all-time leading rebounder. I got player of the year in the conference. I had a great career.
Dime: How about your high school career?
TL: I went to Charlestown High School and won three state titles. We were the number one team in the state every year and played a in a few national tournaments. I scored over 1000 points and grabbed over 700 rebounds. I had a real great career.
Dime: New England is starting to produce a lot of college basketball players. Is there anyone we should look out for?
TL: You have to look out for Shabazz Napier who plays for UConn. They just won the national title! Another guy would be Raheem Singleton who plays for Maine now (Raheem is featured in award-winning documentary Push: Madison vs. Madison).
Dime: What are your plans for the future in basketball?
TL: I was just playing in Austria. Now, I’m just sitting here waiting to get a job. I hope things go well for me and get out of here.
Dime: Do you plan on staying in Europe or are you looking at other options as well?
TL: It depends on how my body feels. Ultimately, anybody who plays basketball wants to play in the NBA, but if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. I had a great career overseas and I plan to keep it that way.
Dime: Who do you compare your game to?
TL: That’s a great question. I don’t really compare my game to anyone. I do it all. I rebound. I pass. I shoot. I post up. I’m a guy that does it all. I’m a guy that doesn’t compare myself to anybody. I just compare myself to Tony Lee.
Dime: Even though you are a guard, you lead your team in rebounding at Robert Morris. How did you become such a good rebounder?
TL: Toughness. Rebounding is not for the guy that is the tallest. It is for the guy that wants it the most. When the ball is in the air, it is anybody’s ball. It just depends on who wants to get it. I play hard every game and want to get every loose ball I can get.
Dime: What was your mindset going into this tournament?
TL: 1000 dollars. That’s it. I was asleep when they called me but 1000 dollars was all that was on my mind when I got here.
Dime: Did you just find out about the tournament today?
TL: No, I knew about it, I was just being lazy. I was going to play in another tournament across the city today too. Last year, I played in the 2-on-2 tournament and had a tough loss. Then when they called me today, I had to redeem myself.
Dime: How does it feel getting the $1000?
TL: It’s great. Who can’t use $1000. Anybody I know can use $1000!
What do you think?
Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucashapiro.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.