More than 900 ‘Pack The House,’ ‘Rock The Red’ for Runnin’ Rebels

"Pack the House," "Rock the Red" game at Lee College
Rooty the Rebel runs along the sideline to pep up the crowd as the Runnin’ Rebels take on the Angelina College Roadrunners in the “Pack The House, Rock The Red” game held Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Lee College Sports Arena. More than 900 fans turned out for the game, which was promoted as a joint effort between the college and city of Baytown. (Photo: Sheree Cardwell, Baytown Tourism)

BAYTOWN, TX — What started as a joint effort between Lee College and the city of Baytown to pack the house for Runnin’ Rebels Basketball ended last weekend with more than 900 fans rocking their red and filling the Sports Arena to cheer on the team against a conference opponent.

Along with the action on the court between the Runnin’ Rebels and the Angelina College Roadrunners, fans at the first-ever “Pack The House, Rock The Red” game enjoyed a lively atmosphere that included games, contests, music, raffle giveaways and the chance to sink a half-court shot for a $500 prize. All attendees aged 18 and under received free entry into the game, as did anyone who brought two canned goods to contribute to the team’s ongoing drive to feed the hungry in the local community. Attendees aged 19 and older received discounted $2 entry for wearing red.

Head Coach Roy Champagne thanked Kevin Troller, assistant city manager for the city of Baytown, for envisioning and promoting the campaign to sell out the Sports Arena in support of Lee College basketball.

“He simply was a fan that felt we had a good product in a great venue,” said Champagne, who has coached the Runnin’ Rebels for more than two decades and made it a priority for his athletes to give back to and connect with the community. The team has completed more than 530 hours of community service since August 2016 and donated thousands of canned goods to local food pantries.

“Our fan base has grown over the last four years,” Champagne said. “Hopefully, many of the fans that came out to ‘Rock The Red’ will decide to attend more frequently.”

Next up, the Runnin’ Rebels will hit the road for an away game against Jacksonville College before returning to the Sports Arena Wednesday, Feb. 8, to take on Blinn College. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

A full schedule for the 2016-17 basketball season and a team roster are available online at www.lee.edu/athletics/basketball.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Lee College hosts traveling career fair for nearly 300 middle & high school students

BAYTOWN, TX – Nearly 300 middle and high school students from throughout the Houston region recently gathered at Lee College for the College and Career Roadshow, a unique one-day conference where students were encouraged to share their dreams for the future and given tools to start making those dreams a reality.

Students participate in an icebreaker at the College and Career Roadshow at Lee College.
Facilitators with leadership training company Paradigm Shift lead students through an icebreaker activity Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, at the College and Career Roadshow hosted at Lee College. Nearly 300 students from across the Houston region gathered on campus for the one-day traveling conference, which focuses on preparing middle and high school students for college and career success.

Presented by leadership training and development company Paradigm Shift and its partners, the roadshow is a traveling college and career fair that includes everything from motivational speakers and success seminars to ACT college readiness exam prep sessions, team-building activities, business leadership panels and interview and resume workshops. Students also had the opportunity to take a campus tour and learn more about all that Lee College has to offer.

After starting their day with games and icebreakers at the Performing Arts Center, the students were divided into two groups according to grade level and taken through workshops and panel discussions to explore what it means to be a leader; how to succeed in college and build a career; how to identify and set goals for the future; how to ace the ACT; and more.

“Our main goal is to get students excited and prepared for post-secondary education or careers,” said Rachel Mayo, conferences and special event coordinator for Paradigm Shift. “We want students who might not otherwise get this kind of opportunity to know they’re not limited in what they can do. The students love it; our facilitators do a great job of making it a safe space to feel, share and learn.”

Students traveled from as far away as Galveston and beyond to attend the roadshow at Lee College. To make the event more accessible for students in the college service area, the Student and Career Employment Office worked with the Lee College Foundation and Patients ER to provide scholarships to about 100 local youths.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Runnin’ Rebels hometown duo hopes to play basketball at NCAA Division I level

BAYTOWN, TX – As Baytown natives who grew up playing in local youth basketball leagues and thrilling fans on the court as Goose Creek Memorial High School Patriots, Lee College Runnin’ Rebel Basketball teammates Javonte Cooper and Julian Powell can easily find common ground with the children they meet and mentor in the community.

“These little kids come from the same place and see themselves growing up to be us, and we can see ourselves in them,” said Cooper, who relished the challenge of playing football at Goose Creek Memorial but always had a natural talent for basketball that led him to Lee College. “I tell them to be better than me. Stay on top of your grades and sports will take care of themselves.”

Powell, who rode motorcycles and dirt bikes as a child before trading boots for basketball shoes, shares similar advice with his siblings and the other young people who look up to him: “Learn as much as you can. You can achieve your goals if you put your mind to it.”

Now in their redshirt sophomore seasons with the Runnin’ Rebels, Cooper and Powell are looking forward to reaching their own goal of advancing their basketball careers at an NCAA Division I college or university. Both have battled to earn playing time on a talented team and mastered the more complicated schemes and game plans used at the collegiate level.

Their hard work will be on display this Saturday, Jan. 28, when the Runnin’ Rebels take on Angelina College at the Sports Arena on campus. The team is hoping fans will “Pack the House” and “Rock the Red” for the game, filling the 1,500-seat arena and helping collect thousands of canned goods to feed the hungry in the local community. All fans 18 and under will receive free entry, along with anyone who brings two canned goods. Fans aged 19 and older that wear red will pay $2, while those who do not wear red will pay $5. Tip off is at 6 p.m.

Moving on to a bigger and better basketball program will likely also mean moving away from Baytown, where Cooper and Powell have been able to enjoy the comforts of home and familiar surroundings while adjusting to the rigors of life as a college student-athlete. In addition to a full slate of classes, practices and games, the Runnin’ Rebels have completed more than 530 hours of service to the local community since August. Cooper is also a founding member and president of Reaching Excellence Against Limitations (R.E.A.L.), a student organization that aims to educate and empower black males on campus.

“Playing for Lee College helps me look out for my mom and brothers,” Cooper said. “I’m not long distance so I can reach out and get to them if they need me.”

But creating a brighter future for their families is also why chasing the dream of a professional basketball career is so important.

“My family keeps me motivated,” Powell said. “I want to take care of them.”

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

More than a dozen Texas university reps to discuss transfer admissions at College Day

BAYTOWN, TX – High-school students and families who want more information about transferring from Lee College to a four-year university for a bachelor’s degree are invited to College Day 2017 to speak with representatives from the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University and more than a dozen schools from across the state.

College Day will be held from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 2, in the Rundell Hall Conference Center on campus. The event is free, open to the public and presented each year by the Texas Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers.

Parents and students who attend College Day will have the opportunity to ask questions and receive important details about transfer requirements and qualifications for admission. Additional colleges and universities that have confirmed participation include: East Texas Baptist University; the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising; Lamar University; Midwestern State University; the Sam Houston State University Springfield College/School of Professional and Continuing Studies; Stephen F. Austin University; Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi; Texas Southern University; Texas State University; Texas Woman’s University; the University of Houston Clear Lake; the University of Houston Downtown; and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

There will also be cake served and prize drawings for students at College Day, as well as goodie bag giveaways for schools that organize a field trip to the event. All school districts in the Lee College service area are welcome.

For more information about College Day 2017, contact Sharon Sampson in the Lee College Counseling Center at 281.425.6384 or ssampson@lee.edu.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Runnin’ Rebels Basketball makes giving back to the local community a team priority

Program has notched more than 530 hours of service, donated thousands of canned goods

Players serve food at Curt's Kitchen
Lee College Runnin’ Rebels Basketball players Roc Johnson, KaJon Brown and Javonte Cooper serve free dinners to neighbors in need at Curt’s Kitchen, a ministry of Cedar Bayou Grace United Methodist Church, during a visit in August 2016. The team has completed more than 530 hours of service to the community since then and donated more than 6,000 canned goods to local food pantries since the 2015-16 basketball season, and is now looking for fans to “Rock the Red” and bring even more canned goods to the home game set for Saturday, Jan. 28.

BAYTOWN, TX — Between the classes, practices and games that fill their busy weekly schedules, the Lee College Runnin’ Rebels Basketball Team has made it their mission to roll up their sleeves and get to work helping others in Baytown and beyond — completing more than 530 hours of community service since August 2016, and donating more than 6,000 canned goods to local food pantries in the last year alone.

To Head Coach Roy Champagne, volunteering their personal time to support worthy causes is an essential responsibility of being a Lee College student-athlete.

“It’s important for our guys to be a part of the Baytown community,” said Champagne, who started the team’s “I Can, U Can, We Can” collection and donation drive for canned goods. “The Baytown community affords these players the opportunity to get scholarships and be able to attend Lee College. Our service is a small way of trying to give back.”

The Runnin’ Rebels have visited six elementary schools in Baytown and Highlands to speak out against bullying and encourage kids to be great students and avid readers. They’ve cheered for young athletes at youth basketball nights and team try-outs. They’ve pulled on aprons and plastic gloves to dish up free dinners at Curt’s Kitchen run by Cedar Bayou Grace United Methodist Church. They’ve delivered thousands of canned goods to food pantries at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and the Missouri Street Church of Christ, among others. And they’re mentoring students at Charles R. Drew Elementary School in Barrett Station, which the college has adopted as part of its Cradle to Career Network.

Now, the team is asking the community to join their efforts at the home game against Angelina College, which is set for a 6 p.m. tip-off on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Lee College Sports Arena. Fans aged 19 and older who bring two canned goods will be given free entry in exchange for helping the team reach its goal of collecting 20,000 canned goods to help feed the hungry in the local community.

The Runnin’ Rebels hope to pack the 1,500-seat arena for the game against the Roadrunners and are encouraging all fans to “Rock the Red” and show their spirit. Additional information about “Rock the Red” is available online at www.lee.edu.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.