I just got an e-mail from Dean Prator promoting his new website honoring the memory of Raymond Lewis.
They're fixing to make a documentary about this man, who Prator calls the greatest player never to play in the NBA. Per Prator, here are some of Lewis's accomplishments:
Lewis led Verbum Dei High School to an 84-4 winning record.
Scored 52 points against the L.A. Lakers rookie team while still in high school.
Played 30 top street ballers on the same day and beat them all 30-zip.
Lewis led the nation in scoring with a 38.9 average as a college freshman in 1972.
Scored 73 points against UC Santa Barbara hitting 30 of 40 shots and making 13 free throws. (Games were played before the insertion of the 3-point shot!)
Scored 53 points in upset win against number three ranked 22-1 Long Beach State coached by legendary Jerry Tarkanian.
18th overall pick in the first round of the 1973 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. At that time Lewis was the youngest player ever drafted and signed.
In 1983 Lewis scored 56 points against NBA's defensive star Michael Cooper of the Los Angeles Lakers in a pro summer league game.
Scored 81 points in a 1983 summer league game that featured NBA players.
Hold on for a second. This man played thirty straight games of one-on-one, and didn't give up a single bucket? That means he scored 900 straight points. If it's true, nothing else here matters in comparison. But I have a feeling that one claim might be a little exagerrated. SEE BELOW
In any case, I hate to hear these stories. What went wrong? Why didn't he make the NBA, let alone the Hall of Fame? It came down to money. There's a lot more information on the site (and it involves Doug Collins).
UPDATE: I just got another e-mail from Dean Prator with an important clarification:
I would like to make a clarification.
Raymond Lewis played 30 ball player in a single day and
beat all thirty basketball players.
I'm quite sure that many of his opponents scored in those
games. There is no way Lewis made 900 baskets in a row,
no one is that good. If someone reads this they will think that
the other well documented achievements are fabricated.
The 30-zip wording above is what threw me. I took it to be the score. In fact it was his record on the day. And, thankfully, it seems like just about all of his other achievements are pretty documented and checkable, so hopefully this misunderstanding won't make anything else seem fabricated.