Les Means More to Cedar Hill High School Boys Basketball

While the Cedar Hill High School Boys Basketball Team was enjoying its best postseason in eight years, they received a boost from a former Longhorn halfway across the world.

Lesley Varner II, a Cedar Hill High School Class of 2016 Graduate, plays professional basketball for the Kapfenberg Bulls in Kapfenberg, Austria. He made a donation to the CHHS Boys Basketball Program last month.

“I wanted to make a donation for anything they need – food before or after games and travel,” said Varner, who plans on visiting the team when he returns to Cedar Hill in May.

Cedar Hill head boys basketball coach Corey Chism, himself a CHHS Class of 2001 Graduate, is very appreciative of Varner’s generosity.

“It’s always a blessing when you are fortunate to have an alum who is willing to give back to his program,” Chism said. “The Varner Family found it in their hearts to graciously support our Scholar Athletes. They are a true testament of what Cedar Hill is and should be.”

Varner grew up in Cedar Hill, attending High Pointe Elementary, West Intermediate and Permenter Middle. He left for a few years but came back for his senior season.

Varner was a seventh grader who didn’t make the A Team, but he didn’t let that distract him from his long term goal.

Varner, 24, didn’t receive any scholarship offers until his senior year when he chose UT Rio Grande Valley over Sam Houston, Milwaukee, UC Riverside and Prairie View A&M.

“I connected a lot with the head coach – the late Lew Hill,” Varner said. “I really respected him and everything he was saying. I liked the city and everything.”

Varner played four seasons for the Vaqueros. He was named Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Player of the Week as a freshman in 2017 after a 14-point, 11-rebound game against Chicago State. He earned First Team All-WAC Honors as a senior and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Business Management.

Varner graduated in 2020 during the COVID-19 Pandemic, which limited his ability to try out for NBA teams. He was supposed to compete in a 3-on-3 Tournament, but it was canceled. He attended a “Virtual NBA Combine” and was on Top 100 Draft Boards.

Varner headed to Portland, Oregon to train and eventually played in a 3-on-3 Tournament the following year.

“You represent your conference each year, and the WAC teamed up with the Mountain West,” Varner said. “I didn’t know anyone on the team, but we built relationships.”

Varner signed with UBCS Graz in the Austrian Basketball Superliga, the country’s top flight league. He briefly played in Newcastle, England earlier this year before returning to Austria where he’s currently averaging 14 points per game.

“It’s pretty cool in Austria,” Varner said. “Graz was a larger city than where I am now. The league is solidified. The food is pretty good.  The fans are really supportive, and they’ve been supportive for many years.”