- 09-25-13 02:30 PM #1
Once in awhile a nice surprise!
One of the pleasures of growing older is the pleasure one feels at seeing young people and kids you have known grow toward their objectives in life. All too often people seem to dwell on the negatives they see in our changing times, but with the march of time there are also nice developments that bring a smile to your face.
A few weeks ago a young friend's new position brought a smile to my face! Back in 1975 when we moved into our home in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles our new neighbors had two kids, a girl of five and boy of four. As the years went by we got see those two grow into maturity.
The four year old boy was one of those kids that had great smile and a great laugh and always had a nice greeting. Time went by and this boy, Larry, grew and although he was not great student he made his way through his education. Larry was always up to something, but his consistent practicing of his basketball skills with his friends was a constant. He had a hoop in his backyard and the sound of a dribbled basket ball was a regular late afternoon and early evening part of our environment.
In high school Larry really didn't get to play much on his school's team; he was too short to play first string varsity. But that didn't stop him from practicing!
I remember Larry's first visit home from college. My, oh my, how the boy had grown. By the end of his fresh man year he had grown to 6' 7" in height and now was playing basketball for his college team at Morehouse College. When he was home that Summer the ka-thunk of a basket ball was again with us.
When Larry graduated from Morehouse he was recruited and hired by a regional basketball team and began a lowly paid, but professional basket ball career. It was about this time that Larry was chosen to play on the U.S. team going to the Pan American Games in Buenos Aires that year. As a team member he won a silver medal at these games.
Within a few years Larry had moved on to play for professional teams overseas. First in the professional league in Japan and later for several teams in the European league. During this time he was asked to try out for different NBA teams but was never chosen to be on an NBA team. The years rolled by and two years ago, at age 42, Larry became the oldest player in European league. But now beyond, in age, of being of interest to a NBA team.
Two years ago he finally retired as a player having just missed being an NBA player. But his basket ball days weren't over. Next I heard he was hired by the L.A Lakers feeder and development team as a player development coach, where he, apparently, was a standout on the coaching staff. The team had its' best season ever and Larry's contribution was fully appreciated.
Then this Summer comes the news that Larry has been hired by the L.A. Lakers head coach as a new assistant coach and player development coach.
Good old Larry had finally made to the NBA and had made his life long dream come true!
Larry was always a great kid, and always a pleasure watch grow up. I am so happy for him and his wife and two daughters. My son is really elated because of Larry's success, but also because he thinks he can get some Laker tickets the next time he is in L.A.!
If anyone is interested in reading Larry's story they can go to the Lakers site on Google and put in Larry Lewis for more information. Hope you enjoyed hearing about my "nice surprise!"
- 09-29-13 05:05 AM #2Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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Re: Once in a while a nice surprise!