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Black History Boston: Reggie Lewis

Today, we are proud to honor the life and contributions of Reggie Lewis, the Celtics' number 35!

Reggie Lewis was born on November 21, 1965, in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended Dunbar High School where he played alongside NBA greats such as Muggsy Bogues, David Wingate, and Reggie Williams. Reggie came to Boston to attend Northeastern University, where he holds Northeastern's all-time scoring record of 2,708 points. His Northeastern teams won the ECAC North all four seasons and played in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament every year. Due to his greatness as a basketball player, his number was retired. 

Reggie Lewis Flyer
Photo Credit: The National Basketball Association

In 1987, Reggie was drafted 22nd overall in the first round by the Boston Celtics. The Celtics were dominant in the league at the time, as that was the era of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish. They added Reggie to incorporate more young talent to continue their winning dynasty. Reggie went from averaging 8.3 minutes per game in his rookie season to 30 minutes and averaging 18.5 points per game in the next season due to a Larry Bird injury. In 1992, he was selected to play in the NBA All-star game.

On July 27, 1993, during an off-season practice, Reggie suffered a sudden cardiac death on the basketball court at the age of 27. After Reggie’s death, the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center was opened in Roxbury, Boston. The center is a community hub of Roxbury and the greater Boston area, hosting major indoor track and field competitions, the Boston Indoor Games, home basketball games for Roxbury Community College, and Northeastern University track and field events. On March 22, 1995, the Boston Celtics retired Reggie’s jersey. 

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