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Lester Neal, Athlete-Basketball
By way of Chicago, Lester Neal arrived at Ventura College and played for Phil Mathews during the 1989-90 and 1990-91 school years. During his two years at VC, Lester had outstanding achievements both athletically and academically.
During Lester's freshman year, he was selected as a 1st Team All-Western States Conference and 1st Team All- State as he led the Pirates to the Western States Conference Championship and into the State Playoffs. Lester maintained a GPA over 3.0.
In Lester's sophomore year, he led the Pirates to a 30-5 record and into the 3rd round of the State Playoffs. The Pirates completed the WSC campaign with an undefeated record (14-0). For his outstanding effort on the court, Lester was rewarded with a selection to the Junior College All-American First Team, and he was selected as the MVP and player of the year in the WSC.
In 1991, Lester set a California Community College rebounding record when he averaged 14.8 rebounds a game. Lester's record was the highest rebounding average in the previous 30 years, and his 459 rebounds during the 1991 season remains the V.C. standard. Lester's final awards were his induction into the Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame, and he was named Ventura County's Male Athlete of the Year for 1991.
Upon leaving V.C., Lester received a full athletic scholarship to Arizona State University. He led the Pac.10 Conference in rebounding in 1991 and was the first recipient of the Lester Neal "Warrior" Award. This award was created by ASU's coaching staff, and it is to be given yearly to the player who displays hard work, leadership, and an outstanding work ethic.
Lester currently resides in Chandler, AZ., where he has devoted himself to working with inner city youth. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Neutral Zones of America, a non-profit youth organization. He is married and the father of three children: LT, Lezley, and Bryce. Additionally, Lester has three grandchildren.