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Harry “Bucky” Lew celebrated at Costello Athletic Center

(Photo Courtesy of Mass Moments) “Sketch of Lowell legend Harry Lew.”

Sarah Mahannah
Connector Editor

UMass Lowell Athletics hosted a presentation and ceremony prior to the Men’s Basketball game versus Binghamton on Thursday night. They aimed to celebrate the life of Harry “Bucky” Basketball Lew.  

Lew was the first black professional basketball player. He got his start at the Pawtucketville YMCA and made history in 1902 at the age of 18 when the Pawtucketville Athletic Club of the New England Basketball League. He is also credited with being the first coach of an integrated collegiate team at the Lowell Textile Institute. 

Historian and UMass Lowell alumni Chris Boucher has dedicated a lot of time and research to the life of the Lowell legend. He wrote a biography of Lew’s life titled, “The Original Bucky Lew”.  

Boucher gave a brief presentation on the life of Lew in front of members of the UMass Lowell community, including faculty and students. They also had a question and answer section with Boucher and Wendy Johnson, who is Lew’s granddaughter. Chancellor Julie Chen was also present to give a speech about Lew. 

 Johnson says that although her grandfather has been recognized by the Basketball Hall of Fame as an early pioneer in the game, he has never been inducted into the museum in Springfield, Mass.  

Johnson says her mother and aunts spent much of their adult lives campaigning for their grandfather to get the recognition they believe he deserves. Johnson, along with the assistance of Boucher, hopes that by spreading the word of Bucky and having events covered such as the one that UMass Lowell held, her grandfather can get his induction.  

Boucher has been organizing other events to bring more attention to Lew. He has been assisting in organizing a Juneteenth celebration for Lew in Lowell this summer in Muldoon Park.  

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