James Thomas Lee is an offensive tackle for the Ottawa RedBlacks. Born in Belle Glade, FL on August 17, 1985, Lee attended Glades Central High School where he played on the Glades Central Raiders varsity football team. Lee began his college career at the University of Georgia and later transferred to South Carolina State University where he started 31 of 33 games and recorded 181 knockdown blocks, 19 resulting in touchdowns. At South Carolina State, Lee majored in Family & Consumer Sciences. Lee originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent on May 1, 2008, when he signed with the Cleveland Browns. On September 1, 2008 the Tampa Bay Buccaneers claimed Lee off waivers and he recorded his first NFL regular season start against the Arizona Cardinals in 2008.
James Lee has a tremendous heart and has always made it a priority to give back to his community. In 2009, Lee started the James Lee Children’s Initiative to strengthen the lives of children within Belle Glade through academics and athletics. Since 2010, James Lee has hosted the Muck City Fest, an annual football camp aimed at introducing more positive activities to the community of Belle Glade. Lee has also participated in various community events with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization including the 3rd and 4th annual Buccaneers Day of Giving where players surprised 30 underprivileged families with holiday gifts; “Turkey Time with the O-Line” where players have provided nearly 3,000 Thanksgiving meals for local needy families; and the Buccaneers Play 60 Challenge which stresses the importance of exercise and physical activity to local middle school students.
Due to his commitment to the community, the 2nd Saturday of June was proclaimed the James Lee Day on June 12, 2010 in Belle Glade, FL. James Lee currently resides in Tampa, Florida. He is a God-fearing and family-oriented man, as well as a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
THE JAMES LEE FOUNDATION & TEAM LEE
The James Lee Childrens Foundation and TEAM Lee were established in 2011 with an overall mission to motivate and inspire youth within the cities of Belle Glade and Tampa, FL to ‘dare to dream’ and ‘strive to succeed.’ Lee aims achieve this mission by creating partnerships with various middle and high schools through the creation of academic incentives, scholarship/mentoring programs and athletic events.
As a member of Omega Psi Fraternity, Inc., Lee has adopted its cardinal principles of Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and Uplift into every aspect of his efforts within the community. The Foundation will reward students that are committed to academic success, maintain high attendance levels in school and show a commitment to their community.
The James Lee Foundation’s 10-Point Program Initiatives include the following:
- Provide Scholarships for graduating high school seniors. Our goal is to award $25,000 or more per year in scholarships, in increments starting from $1,000 up to $10,000 to as many students who have been accepted to a college/university. Criteria will be based on grades, cost of tuition, responses to a questionnaire and essay question.
- Create Academic Incentives for middle school and high school students to encourage academic excellence i.e. book donations to support Reading & Writing Initiatives.
- Host local or state-wide College Tours for students i.e. Palm Beach State College, University of Tampa, University of Florida, etc.
- Provide Educational Mentoring Sessions & Events for youth on a monthly and eventually weekly basis i.e. Career, College, Business, Life Skills, Environment, etc.
- Sporting Initiatives to include the annual Team Lee Youth Football Camp; golfing; fishing; and various fitness activities to promote physical activity and obesity prevention.
- The Muck City Fest & James Lee Day (held on the 2nd Saturday of June every year).
- Career Exploration & Development i.e. visits to Lakeside Medical Hospital, West County Courthouse, Sheriff’s Office, Health Center, etc.
- A “Scared Straight Project” in collaboration with the Glades Correctional Institution.
- Excursion trips to West Palm Beach, Tampa. Orlando and Miami to explore cultural, educational and sporting opportunities.
- Promote Environmental Awareness.