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Future Cat Marcus Lee saw his pursuit of a scholarship as one way to help his mother

When Marcus Lee was a child, his mother, Sheri, sat him down and was honest about the family’s financial situation.

When Marcus Lee was a child, his mother, Sheri, sat him down and was honest about the family's financial situation. A single parent who worked for a long-term care facility, she wanted Marcus to understand that sometimes she might not be able to buy the toy he wanted.

Marcus understood. When his mother suggested they go out for a meal, he often said they should stay in and save the money. And when he enrolled at Deer Valley High School in this sleepy city 50 miles east of San Francisco, he thought the only way to afford college was to earn a scholarship.

He was 6 feet 2 then, and while basketball was an option, it was certainly not a guarantee. So he also joined the volleyball team. And worked out with the water polo team. And tried to bowl.

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