Lewis did use drugs, friend is quoted

March 20, 1995

A Baltimore man has told The Wall Street Journal that he used cocaine with pro basketball star Reggie Lewis on several occasions, including five days before the Boston Celtics' captain collapsed during a 1993 playoff game.

Reggie Lewis later died from a scarred heart, and the cause of his death is still being questioned. A recent Journal article hinted of drug use, which has been denied by Reggie Lewis' family and Celtics officials, who have threatened a $100 million lawsuit.

Derrick Lewis, no kin to the National Basketball Association player, grew up with Reggie Lewis here and played basketball pTC with him at recreation centers and at Northeastern University in Boston. He remained a close friend after Mr. Lewis attained NBA stardom. Derrick Lewis told the Journal that Reggie Lewis was, "with me, an experimental user of cocaine like a lot of people, from executives to college students, who try it once in a while. Reggie was addicted to basketball, not drugs."

In college, Derrick Lewis said, he and Reggie Lewis did a lot of "heavy partying, mostly with marijuana. There was a lot of partying on the team."

Reggie Lewis' wife, Donna Harris Lewis, has maintained that her husband never used drugs. Derrick Lewis said it is possible she never knew of her husband's involvement. Derrick Lewis told the newspaper he has not used drugs since his friend died.

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