Basketball great Jerry Lucas to speak in Venice

Posted: March 11, 2015 at 9:46 am

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Former basketball star Jerry Lucas

VENICE - What Jerry Lucas accomplished on the basketball court is nearly without equal.

He was the first player to win championships on four levels: high school, college, pro and Olympic gold. Twice in the pros, he averaged more than 20 points and 20 rebounds a game. And he was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history.

But what Lucas achieved with just his brain may be even more impressive.

Known as Dr. Memory, Lucas once recalled and recited 200 pages of names in the Manhattan phone book.

I also memorized the whole New Testament, Lucas said in a phone interview this week. I'm going to be 75, but I can still remember the first and last names of 200 people at a speaking engagement or memorize a magazine from cover to cover.

The third passion for Lucas is spirituality. He said he never so much as said a prayer growing up, but realized as adult that their was a void in his life. He embraced body, mind and spirit and has spoken at 1,100 churches.

In what is being billed as a Weekend to Remember, Lucas will focus on all three areas in a series of free talks through Monday at Venice Presbyterian Church. Thursday night's subject is his basketball career and what it took to become one of the game's legends.

Lucas grew up in Middletown, Ohio, about 35 miles north of Cincinnati. His father was a pressman at a paper mill and his mother worked on an assembly line. But from his youth, Lucas stood out and not just because he was 6-feet-8 at age 15.

Dedicated basketball players are known to take a few hundred practice shots a day. Lucas took 5,000 shots a day, often practicing 12 hours or more.

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Basketball great Jerry Lucas to speak in Venice

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Written by grays |

March 11th, 2015 at 9:46 am