Damon Boyd waited in the corridor at the Cecil-Kirk Recreation Center in East Baltimore last night, hoping to renew acquaintances with boyhood friend Reggie Lewis, now a professional basketball star with the Boston Celtics.
"I've known Reggie since he was 12," said Boyd. "We'd play ball in the alleys. I always thought his best sport was football. He could throw a football almost a whole block."
Boyd and Lewis started high school at Patterson. After Lewis got cut trying out for the varsity, he transferred to Dunbar, where, in the early '80s, he joined David Wingate, Muggsy Bogues and Reggie Williams on the mythical national high school championship team.
"I played at Patterson, and Reggie came back with Dunbar and beat us by 60 points. Funny how things turn out sometimes," Boyd said.
Lewis returned to his roots yesterday to be honored by Mayor Kurt Schmoke, the City Council and the Department of Recreation now supervised by Bob Wade, his former coach at Dunbar.
In return, Lewis distributed two dozen Christmas turkeys to neighborhood volunteers who work with various youth groups in the community.
The ceremony was filmed by the television crew of NBA Entertainment, which will use it as a segment on its Christmas Day doubleheader on NBC.
On Thanksgiving, Lewis, a graduate of Northeastern University, also presented turkeys to needy families in the Boston area.
The five-year veteran is the Celtics' second leading scorer (19.1) behind Larry Bird and is making a strong bid for his first All-Star Game appearance.