NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY)- Call it a shared passion that only the game of baseball can reproduce.
Justin and Wiley Lee have shared this game as long as Justin can remember. “It started back in tee ball. It’s kind of worked out where he’s rubbed off on me a lot,” says Justin.
Rubbed off in a good way.
As a junior shortstop for Norfolk State University, Justin leads the team with 15 stolen bases. His father Wiley, now as assistant coach for the Spartans, was the all-time career steals leader at Old Dominion University before heading off to a professional career with the California Angels.
In 14 years coaching at Great Bridge High School, Wiley led the Wildcats to 2 state championships before joining the coaching staff at Norfolk State. “It’s been exciting for me. Obviously my dad, mother, brother and sister followed my career at Old Dominion so its great having the support of your entire family. I was able to watch Justin from the stands before joining the coaching staff,” added Wiley.
Spartans head coach Claudell Clark says Justin and Wiley work well together on the field. “Surprisingly, it’s a professional relationship. Wiley treats Justin like all the other players.”
While Justin has enjoyed having full support of his father, he says it’s not always been easy. “We kind of established this back in high school where on the field he is a coach, but outside the lines, he’s a dad. There were some days where we would bring the feuds home and mom would have to separate us.”
Justin, now 21 years of age admits his father has softened his stance and that he would not trade the experience he has shared with his father. “Going through the process has been fun, but it’s been hard at the same time.” Wiley added, “More often than not, he makes the right decision.”