Fly and Fred Lee were talking about old times on the telephone Sunday (Oct. 26). Fly was at home in Brownsville; Fred was in Long Island.
"We've been crackin' up the last 30 minutes," Fly said minutes later. "He knows everything that happened back then. Fred's got a great memory."
Indeed he does, the man they called Freddie "Sugar Tree" Lee back in the day.
Lee, who grew up playing with and against Fly in Brooklyn in the 1960s, recalls the many games they played on the playgrounds and gyms and their season together at Glen Springs Academy in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (1971-72). Fly signed with Austin Peay after that season, while Lee played another season at Glen Springs before joining Fly at Austin Peay in 1973-74. Glen Springs was helping many of the top players out of Brooklyn and New York hone their skills while becoming academically eligible to play NCAA Division I ball.
"We were the best players coming out of New York in that era," Lee said Sunday (Oct. 26). "Some of our grades were low, so we went to Glen Springs Academy to bring up our grades and our SAT scores."
Lee, 54, who splits time living between Brooklyn and Long Island, wonders why Fly's jersey hasn't been retired (see "columns" on this web site).
"If it wasn't for Fly, Austin Peay wouldn't ever have been on the map throughout the country," Lee said. "That center (Austin Peay's Dunn Center) was supposed to have been built for Fly, but he left. That's the stadium Fly built. He was hoping to be there for four years, but he couldn't stay."
For more info and comments from Fred Lee, check out thefly35.com in the next day or two.