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18th anniversary of Reggie Lewis’ death

07.27.11 at 12:00 pm ET
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(More video: Part 2, Part 3 & Part 4; h/t @MrTripleDouble10)

R.I.P. Reggie Lewis (Nov. 21, 1965 — July 27, 1993)

  • Nov. 21, 1965: Born in Baltimore, Md.
  • 1981-82: Led Dunbar High to consecutive undefeated seasons (60-0)
  • 1983-87: Set Northeastern University scoring record (2,708 points)
  • Nov. 6, 1987: Totaled four points in his Celtics debut
  • June 22, 1987: Selected by Celtics in first round of NBA draft (22nd overall)
  • Dec. 6, 1988: Scored 33 points in first game as a starter in a Celtics uniform
  • March 31, 1991: Became only player to block Michael Jordan four times
  • April 12, 1991: Netted a career-high 42 points against the Heat
  • Feb. 9, 1992: Played in his only NBA All-Star Game
  • March 24, 1993: Left game with dizziness but returned to score 22 points
  • April 29, 1993: Collapsed on the Garden’s parquet floor during a playoff game
  • May 2, 1993: Diagnosed with life-threatening cardiomyopathy by 12 renowned cardiologists
  • May 10, 1993: Cleared to return to the NBA by Dr. Gilbert Mudge
  • July 27, 1993: Died at Brandeis University from cardiac arrest at 27 years old

On Wednesday, SLAM interviewed Muggsy Bogues, who played with Lewis as well as fellow NBA talents David Wingate and Reggie Williams at Dunbar High in Baltimore, Md. (strange coincidence: Bogues and Wingate were playing for the Hornets when Lewis collapsed during that 1993 playoff game). Here’s what Bogues told SLAM:

Words can’t describe the pain. Reg was such a great friend of ours, such a great person, so humble, and he was just starting to reach his stardom. That was his team, the Boston Celtics. The Big Three [Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish] had passed the torch down to him, and that was something that he felt so grateful for, so respected, because he respected those guys and he earned their respect. It wasn’t something that they just gave him. He earned it.

He’s always been that type of humble guy. Even though he was the sixth man on a high school team, you know Reg could start on anybody’s team, but he was able to accept that role to allow us to do what we were able to do — to win the national championship two years in a row.

And he always had been that way, and that’s one of the reasons why he was able to put Boston on his shoulders and able to do the things he was able to do and get the respect from the Big Three, as he called it. So now I know he’s smiling up there, watching over his kids, just wishing everybody can continue to keep doing what they’re supposed to do, because that’s what he would want us to do.

Another interesting read: A Sports Illustrated article entitled “Heart of the Matter” that ran on May 24, 1993 (prior to Lewis’ death) and ended with this paragraph: “So what does it all mean? About the only thing one can say for sure is that the questions remain almost as puzzling as they were the night Lewis collapsed against Charlotte. Can Lewis ever play again? Should he? Should the Celtics let him? What are the legal ramifications? The medical? The financial? The telltale heart pounds on and on.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Muggsy Bogues, Northeastern, Reggie Lewis
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