Prep of the Week: Daxter “Dax” Lee

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(ABC 6 News) — When hearing the name Dax or Daxter, two things may come to mind: actor Dax Shepard or Daxter of the “Jak and Daxter” video game franchise.

But southeast Minnesota has its own Dax/Daxter and he’s been lighting up the scoreboards for the NRHEG Panthers basketball team, recently crossing the 1000-point plateau.

“Looking back at NRHEG Basketball is honestly grateful to play here,” Lee reflected. “They’re legendary really, that’s how I learned from a lot of it. My guys and that’s how I got a lot of my inspiration to really try to be the best player I can be.”

Even though it hasn’t been the best of seasons in the win column, Lee and the Panthers are laying the foundation in head coach Dan Schmidt’s first season. For the team, that foundation matters following an offseason the unit characterized as being in “shambles.”

“Our old coach had to leave of course,” Lee’s teammate William Tuttle noted. “And we really didn’t have an offseason, because we thought that we had a new coach coming in from a college team. And he couldn’t make it for some reason and a week before the season, we got our coach, Dan. Which I am happy about that decision, but of course, you can’t do that much planning coming into it.”

With all that controversy coming into the season, Coach Schmidt has had to lean more on Daxter Lee. It’s a move the coach says has paid off.

“He truly is our one returner that we had back,” Schmidt said. “I mean, the kid never quits, we have to kick him out of the gym most of the time at night. For him, it was very much ‘We need your help to lead this group of guys.'”

For all the commitment and dedication Dax puts on the court, his teammates say he keeps that same energy off of it.

“He’s pretty chill,” teammate Jaylin Raab complimented. “We all crack jokes all the time, he knows how to bring smiles to everybody’s faces.”

“I mean, he’s awesome, he’s everything you want in a man,” Tuttle added. “He’s awesome to talk to, he’s beautiful, he’s gorgeous. But he also loves basketball so much. Off the court, every teacher in every single class has told him to stop watching basketball more than ten times.”

Lee will keep pushing to ensure the Panthers are a team to be reckoned with as they’ve competed well with championship teams like Hayfield. While the junior is still all in on keeping that progress going for the rest of the season, he knows a much more proper offseason with Coach Schmidt should make for a better campaign next season.

“I can’t wait to be honest,” Lee stated. “Obviously, I’m excited to finish this year and see how this goes. But I can’t wait for the summer because I know that these guys are going to want to put in a lot of work with the coaches and me. Because it’s going to be fun to finally get summer back, last summer we didn’t get one. But this one, it should be good.”