Slain NYC hoopster Darius Lee dreamed of playing for Knicks

The promising college hoopster fatally gunned down by a stray bullet in Harlem over the weekend had dreams of playing for his hometown Knicks, his tearful grandma told The Post on Wednesday.

“OMG, since 10 years old,” Patricia Smith, 71, said of her slain grandson, 21-year-old Darius Lee.

“He had one more year of college,” Smith said. “On his way onto the Knicks. He was a good kid. Everybody would tell you.

“He’s well known as Darius Lee, number 23.”

Lee was among nine people shot in Harlem early Monday at a party hosted by local rapper Troy “Rich” Rhymer — and the only to die from his wounds.

Lee was pronounced dead at Lincoln Medical Center, while others were treated at Harlem Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

Police have yet to announce a motive or identify suspects in the shooting.

Patricia Smith, grandmother of Darius Lee, claimed her slain grandchild wanted to play for the New York Knicks.
Robert Miller
Darius Lee’s sister holds a photo of him during a memorial.
Lee’s sister holds a photo of him during a memorial.
G.N. Miller
College basketball player Darius Lee was killed during a shooting in Harlem that injured eight others.
Lee’s high school basketball coach Chris Williams.
Kevin C. Downs for The New York
College basketball player Darius Lee was killed during a shooting in Harlem that injured eight others.
Lee was killed during a shooting in Harlem that injured eight others.
AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, file
Darius Lee scores a layup against the Arizona State Sun Devils during a game at Desert Financial Arena in Tempe, Arizona on Nov. 29, 2020.
Lee scores a layup against the Arizona State Sun Devils during a game at Desert Financial Arena in Tempe, Arizona on Nov. 29, 2020.
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Lee, a former standout at St. Raymond High School for Boys in The Bronx, went on to play for SUNY Sullivan Community College in upstate New York before being recruited by Houston Baptist University in Texas, where he played before he was killed.

His grandmother said Lee’s mother, who lives in Albany, was expected to return to Harlem this week as the city mourns her son’s senseless death.

“They’re supposed to make funeral arrangements today,” Smith said.

Community members mourn Darius Lee in a basketball court across the street from his family’s apartment building in Manhattan.
Community members mourn Lee in a basketball court across the street from his family’s apartment building in Manhattan.
Gabriella Bass
Darius Lee was competing at Division I school Houston Baptist University.
Lee was competing at Division I school Houston Baptist University.
Daniel William McKnight
Darius Lee was a standout at SUNY Sullivan Community College in Loch Sheldrake, New York.
Lee was a standout at SUNY Sullivan Community College in Loch Sheldrake, New York.
Daniel William McKnight

“This is where Darius stayed at most of the time, with me,” she said of the Harlem apartment building where mourners have gathered since the tragic shooting. “Everybody here is family in this building.”