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Author Talk: The Original Bucky Lew: Basketball’s First Black Professional, by Chris Boucher

August 26th, 2023 · No Comments · Author Talk, City Library, Events, Main Branch, News

Join author Chris Boucher for a look back at the world of professional basketball circa 1902. On Tuesday, September 26, at 6:30 pm in the Auditorium.

Bucky Lew became basketball’s first Black professional when he stepped onto the court in 1902. In a career that spanned roughly 25 years, he was also the first Black coach, manager, referee, and even team owner in otherwise white leagues. Manchester and the Franco-American community played important roles in Lew’s career.

Manchester’s Harry Hough, the top scorer in the game at 16 per, learned of Lew’s talents when he was held to a single basket the first time they met. Lew vs. Hough would become the league’s marquee matchup, which culminated in its final championship series.

The Franco-American community gave Lew a huge assist both during his career and in cementing his legacy years later. He started his pro career with a Franco-American club, and when the Dodgers placed the first Black players in baseball in the French-Canadian dominated cities of Nashua, NH, and Montreal, they did so because they had inside information that the community would embrace them.  

Chris Boucher lives north of Boston with his wife and near his sons and grandson. He is passionate about basketball, learning, and writing. While his hoops skills remain on the amateur side, he has put in the work to earn masters’ degrees in education and creative writing to improve there. You can find him online at!

For questions, call Sue Harmon at 603-624-6550 x7620 or email [email protected]

Signup for this program is not required, but if you’d like a reminder email, you can sign up through our library calendar! Visit and click on “Upcoming Events” to view the library calendar. Click here to be taken directly to the event, or copy and paste the link below into your browser.

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