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Sophomore is on the Marks for H-F basketball

Lee Marks III is playing a prominent role for the Homewood-Flossmoor High School boys basketball team this year. It’s something the sophomore has been preparing for since he was little.

“I remember I liked the game when I was like four,” the 6-foot-5 Vikings guard said. “I’ve played a lot of basketball. I wasn’t always the best player but over the summers I’ve worked hard. I’m here now.”

The turning point for Marks came between his eighth grade and freshman seasons. He began to spend more time in the weight room. He added some bulk and strength to go with his obvious size and athleticism. He knew the high school game was going to be more physical and lifting would help him cope with that.

That effort has made all the difference.

“I was just getting my legs better, getting ready to jump and for other guys to be banging,” he said. “The varsity game has bigger guys so I became a bigger guy.”

It was on display last week.

Marks and senior teammate Christian Meeks each had some success working in the paint in a 53-50 overtime win over Bradley-Bourbonnais despite the presence of Boilermakers center Owen Freeman, a 6-foot-10 big man who will play for Iowa in the Big Ten.

Marks and Meeks each had several buckets within a few feet of the rim, including a few coming on offensive rebounds.

As one of the taller players on the roster, Marks is asked to play inside a little more than he’s used to. He says he’s a guard, naturally. Coach Marc Condotti doesn’t really ask any of his players to be a true center, but Marks has the length to play defense against opponents’ big men and go after rebounds.

And that’s just what Marks does for H-F: Whatever the team needs.

“He’s a great kid, gets great grades, very respectful,” coach Marc Condotti said. “He’s a high IQ player who plays hard. There’s no silly stuff. He just plays.”

“My role is to keep this team together. When we get down in moments and shots aren’t falling, I’m constantly keeping them confident, ready to shoot and ready to play,” Marks said.

His height is an advantage when he can stay on the wing and use it against smaller guards. On the flip side, he knows he can beat larger players with his speed.

“I can get into (shorter players) and they can’t really get to me over the top. Bigger players, I get around them,” Marks said.

Marks isn’t asked to be the primary scorer for H-F right now with Meeks around, but he likely will be soon. He knows he needs to work on his ball handling. His time is coming.

“He’s headed in the right direction,” Condotti said. “He’s doing a great job for us.”

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