Reggie Lewis, Sr. has been elected to the Hall of Fame for his extraordinary accomplishments in the sport of basketball.
Lewis died suddenly and tragically on July 27, 1993 from a heart ailment, but it was not before he had left an indelible impression upon Northeastern and the entire city of Boston.
Sometime during the Baltimore native's first season at Northeastern, it became clear: Lewis was not just a player, not just a starter, not just the league Rookie of the Year. Reggie Lewis was on his way to becoming the best Northeastern and New England had ever seen.
Lewis averaged 18 points per game as a freshman and guided Northeastern to a mark of 27-5, the best record in school history. In his second season, he set a Husky record, averaging 24.1 points per game, the highest average of any sophomore in the nation. He continued to excel as a junior and senior, capping his career by averaging 23.3. points per game. Lewis also led Northeastern to four consecutive North Atlantic Conference titles and subsequent trips to the NCAA Tournament. On March 13, 1987, Reggie's Husky career ended. Number 35 had scored 2,709 points, the most in New England collegiate history. He had taken NAC Player of the Year honors three times. But as Lewis walked off the court, having just scored 23 points in his final NCAA tourney game, the era of his Regginess came to a close at Northeastern. He departed Northeastern as its all-time leading scorer, and at the time, was ninth on the Division I career scoring list. His name dominates the Husky record book, but more importantly then what he did individually, is what the team accomplished with Reggie at the helm. The Huskies went 102-26 (72-6 in conference play) during his career. Husky fans had seen, quite simply, the greatest ever to wear the Red and Black.
A few short months later, the Boston Celtics drafted Lewis in the first round of the NBA draft. Lewis began his career as a reserve on the bench, then worked his way into the regular rotation, then to the starting line up and then to the Celtics' go to guy and their leader. In 1992, his selection as an NBA all-star came as no surprise. It was also no surprise when Reggie became the Celtics' sixth captain, taking the reins from Larry Bird. Lewis starred in his inaugural year at the helm of the Celtics, scoring 21 points per night and leading the Green to the '93 playoffs. But, in the Celts' first postseason game, the heart problem that would later result in his death caused Reggie to collapse and marked not only the end of his brilliant basketball career, but also a brilliant life.
Reggie Lewis left fans around the nation with memories of his basketball accomplishments. But also memorable was his demeanor off the hardwood. His contributions to the community were just as consistent as his
jump shots. Reggie's widow, Donna Harris-Lewis, has continued her husbands legacy of kindness through the Reggie Lewis Foundation, which annually sponsors events like its Turkey Giveaway each Thanksgiving, an event Reggie began.
In short, Reggie Lewis's legendary achievements on the court, coupled with his passionate commitment to the Northeastern, Boston and Baltimore communities, has secured him with a unique immortality in the eyes of Husky past, present and future.
Reggie was survived by his wife, Donna, and their two children, Reggie, Jr. and Reggiena.