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Wings epress, Inc.

The Original Bucky Lew

The Original Bucky Lew

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Basketball’s First Black Professional

 By Chris Boucher

Bucky Lew burst through pro basketball’s color barrier to become the first Black player in an otherwise white league. And playing was just a start. He wanted to dominate in every single role in the game—from player to coach to general manager to owner.

His dream looked to be deferred when Harry Hough, the league’s best player, refused to play against him in a regular season matchup that the press billed as a preview of the championship. Not only were their teams the best, Hough was the league’s top scorer and Bucky its best defender.

All eyes were on the pair. What would Bucky do? Should he just go away or could he rally his teammates around him? What about the fans—the thousands in the arena and those around the league following the rivalry in the papers? Or the league as a whole? Would they support him or move on without him?

The stakes were high—it was a fight for the future of the season, the future of the game, and maybe even the future of sports.

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