Greg Lee, UCLA guard under John Wooden, dies at 70

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Greg Lee, who helped UCLA win back-to-back national championships in 1972 and 1973 as the starter of coach John Wooden, has died. He was 70 years old.

Lee died in a San Diego hospital on Wednesday of an infection related to an immune disorder, the university said Thursday after being informed by his wife, Lisa.

Lee became a starting point guard on the varsity sophomore team in 1971-72, alongside Bill Walton and Jamaal Wilkes. The Bruins went 30-0 by winning games by an average margin of over 30 points. They beat the State of Florida 81-76 in the national title game.

The following season, the Bruins again went 30-0 and won the national championship, 87-66 over Memphis State.

During Lee’s senior year in 1973–74, UCLA’s 88-game winning streak was cut short in a 71–70 loss to Notre Dame. The Bruins’ national title streak also ended in seven when they were defeated by the State of North Carolina 80-77 in double overtime in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament.

Lee averaged 5.8 points and 1.5 rebounds in 88 games with the varsity, which compiled an 86-4 record during his three seasons.

At that time, freshmen couldn’t compete, so Lee, Walton, and Wilkes helped the UCLA freshman team to a 20-0 record, while Lee averaged 17.9 points.

Lee grew up in the Reseda neighborhood of Los Angeles. His father, Marvin, played basketball at UCLA under coach Wilbur Johns, who preceded Wooden.

After leaving UCLA, Lee played professionally in the ABA and NBA. He played briefly for the Portland Trail Blazers in 1975-76, reuniting with Walton, before playing in Germany for several seasons.

Throughout the 1970s, Lee competed on the professional beach volleyball circuit. He won 29 titles by appearing in 39 finals during his career.

After his playing days were over, Lee earned a teaching credential from UCLA. He taught math at Clairemont High in San Diego and coached college basketball and tennis.

In addition to his wife of 48 years, Lee is survived by son Ethan, daughter Jessamyn Feves and brother Jon.

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