Inside Stories

Pirates to Help Unveil Lew Exhibit

by Chris Boucher

The hometown hero who single-handedly integrated basketball will be honored with the unveiling of an exhibit the day of the Massachusetts Pirates game at the Tsongas Center on Saturday June 15.

Entitled “Bucky Lew: Lowell’s Basketball Pioneer,” the display outside section 115 on the concourse will honor Lew’s matrix of achievements.

Lew was the game’s first Black professional and college coach. He started at the Lowell YMCA in 1898, signed a pro contract with the Lowell PAC in 1902, and continued to level up over the next 25 years as he added coaching, managing, refereeing, and owning pro teams to his impressive resume. He also matriculated as an assistant coach at Lowell Commercial College in 1906 and became head coach at Lowell Textile, now UMass Lowell, in 1922.

Designed by Stadium Graphics, images for the display were provided by the UML Center for Lowell History. A period violin like the one Lew played in the old days of basketball and dancing has been donated by UML’s music department. A early basketball, knee pads, and sneakers are also included in the exhibit.

The unveiling follows a celebration of Lew at the Black Lowell Coalition’s Juneteenth Jubilee at Muldoon Park from noon to 6. The Coalition will also be giving away copies of “The Original Bucky Lew” to attendees. It’s the lone book documenting the man’s achievements.

Lew’s granddaughter Wendy Johnson will appear at the Jubilee and will also be honored as ceremonial captain during the Pirates game.

On the night Wendy dedicates the exhibit to her grandfather, the Pirates are also running a special Father’s Day ticket promotion. Dads will get into the arena at the discounted children’s price.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7pm.

One response to “Pirates to Help Unveil Lew Exhibit”

  1. Derek Dixon says:

    Interesting piece of history interesting. Good luck at the jubilee.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *