For the second time in two weeks, the Reidsville community mourns the loss of a former Rams varsity basketball player.

RHS point guard Stephen Lee died unexpectedly of a sudden stroke on June 29.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the Rams basketball program and the community at large for that matter.

His death came just eight days after the Reidsville community mourned the passing of former Rams player and head basketball coach Curtis Pass, who died on June 21 at the age of 41.

A three-year varsity starter for the Rams, Lee, 48, played for Reidsville from 1986 to 1988 and most of his classmates described him as a gentle giant who loved the game of basketball and life in general.

Teammate Randy Martin, who was a year ahead of Lee, said he was a leader from the day he joined the Rams squad, and he was the type of player that wasn’t afraid to voice his opinion to the older guys to make sure the team was getting it done on the court.

“Stephen had a level of maturity that was unmatched. He joined our team as a sophomore, which is a testament to his skill level on the court and his positive energy and drive. I am sure it was not easy being the youngest, but he faced the challenge and succeeded and matured into a true leader over his three years on the Reidsville varsity squad,” Martin said.

After his playing days came to an end, Lee stayed close to the game, volunteering as a basketball official for leagues for both children and adults.

Friends say Lee was an eternal optimist and always had a positive influence on everyone that he met. As a coach and official, he mentored kids for decades on the importance of hard work and dedication. He was a positive role model and often talked to kids on the importance of being a student of the game and also making sure they were getting it done in the classroom.

“Stephen was extremely unselfish on and off the court as a true point guard and leader. He continued to give assists to the community after his playing days were over,” said Martin of his former teammate and friend.

Funeral services were held on Tuesday and there will be a memorial service on Sunday, July 14, at 2 p.m. in Winston-Salem at the Sedge Garden Recreation Center located at 401 Robbins Road.

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Contact Jim Sands at 336-314-1058 or on Twitter @jimsandsRCN.  

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