|Title:||Class of 2017|
|Organization:||Basketball and Volleyball|
A fixture in Harrington Auditorium from 2001 to 2005, Lee Helberg was a four-year member of the basketball and volleyball teams.
After debuting as the Engineers second leading rebounder and scorer, the two-year basketball captain led the team in rebounding three times and was the top scorer her final two seasons. She was also an All-NEWMAC second team selection as a junior and senior.
As a newcomer, Lee totaled a career-high 201 rebounds and was ranked 40th in NCAA Division III with 1.9 blocks per game. Two years later, she poured in a personal-best 414 points for a 14.8 points-per-game average to go along with 55 blocks and 42 swipes en route to the program’s first ECAC invitation in almost a decade. She then posted a career-best 34 assists in her final year. In all, her career featured 1,337 points, 743 rebounds, 93 assists, 152 blocks, and 110 steals.
“Lee was a versatile athlete, highly skilled and a tough competitor,” said women’s basketball head coach Cherise Galasso. “At 6-foot she had a variety of post moves but also could knock down 3-point shots and attack the rim making her a tough matchup for our opponents. On the defensive end she patrolled the paint and still ranks as one of the all-time leaders in blocked shots and rebounds. To say Lee had an immediate impact on the program is an understatement. She helped elevate WPI women's basketball to new heights, including the program's first postseason appearance in almost a decade and set the tone for our future success.”
In the fall, Lee was a solid middle hitter with 898 kills, 157 aces, 162 digs, 55 solo blocks, and 84 block assists. Her junior season was also her best with career-highs of 311 kills, 55 aces, 45 block assists, and a .330 attack percentage.
“Lee was a tough competitor who could get the job done,” recalled teammate Meghan Pajonas. “When she stepped on the court, she was a force to be reckoned with. Her raw talent and skills aside, Lee brought to our team the gift of humor. No matter what happened, you could count on her to unify the team, both on and off the court, with laughter and her unrelenting positivity. She inspired our team to work hard and win, but reminded us to have fun along the way while doing it”
A native of South Yarmouth, Mass., she graduated in 2005 with a degree in management engineering. Since then she has worked in several diverse fields—from engineering to pharmaceuticals; she currently serves as a purchasing coordinator for the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission. She remains active in her spare time playing in both corporate basketball and volleyball leagues. Lee resides in Boston with her husband, Patrick, and their one-year-old daughter, Cameron.