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Reggie Lewis (November 21 1965 - July 27 1993) was an American Basketball player for the NBA's Boston Celtics from 1987 to 1993. He averaged 20.8 points per game in each of his last two seasons with the Celtics, and finished with a career average of 17.6 points per contest. He died suddenly during a Celtics practice in 1993. His #35 jersey was retired by the Celtics as a memorial to him -- one of only two Celtics to have a retired number but not a championship in the 62-year history of the franchise. The other was Ed Macauley, who did win a championship with the St. Louis Hawks in 1958.

Born in Baltimore, Lewis attended Northeastern University in Boston. His uniform number was retired and hangs in tribute in Matthews Arena (the Celtics' original home arena in 1946).

He was selected to play in his first and only NBA All-Star Game held in Orlando, Florida, 1992. He played 15 minutes, scoring seven points and grabbing four rebounds.

Lewis suffered sudden cardiac death on the basketball court at an off-season practice in 1993 at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He was only 27 years old. Lewis had shown symptoms of heart problems in the preceding months, and the cause of his death was subsequently attributed to Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a structural heart defect that is considered the most common cause of death in young athletes. However, this determination generated great controversy amid suspicions that the damage to Lewis' heart was a result of cocaine use (a Celtics draft pick from 1986, Len Bias, died of cocaine use). [1][2]

After his death the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center was opened in Roxbury, Massachusetts. The center was funded partially by Lewis and routinely hosts major track and field competitions as well as home basketball games for Roxbury Community College.

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