“Raymond Lewis is the worst guy you’ve ever seen.”
This is how the film trailer for the documentary “Raymond Lewis: LA Legend” begins.
One of the 45 people interviewed for the film describes Lewis, who led Verbum Dei High to three Southern Section championships from 1969 to 1971, averaged 32.9 points in his only 1972-73 season in college basketball in Cal State Los Angeles, and a first-round draft election of the Philadelphia 76ers at the age of 19, but never played a game in the NBA due to a contractual dispute.
Lewis died on February 11, 2001 at the age of 48.
Ryan Polomski, the film’s director, said, “This documentary is designed to tell the long story of perhaps the greatest Los Angeles high school basketball player of all time. His story was an amazing, heartbreaking story that offers lessons for people in all walks of life. Its size has to be remembered. “
A young Bryant Gumbel interviews Lewis. You can hear Ross Porter Lewis describe playing basketball for Verbum Dei during a game of the week on KNBC. Jerry Tarkanian, the late Nevada Las Vegas coach, spoke about Lewis in one of his last interviews.
“He’s a guy with incredible talent,” said Polomski. “Everyone has dreams and their own decisions and those beyond their control have neglected their dreams and a lot can relate to them and how to deal with mistakes.”
The documentary lasted for years, with Polomski and co-producer Dean Prator taking over the organization. Archive photos and videos were recovered from attics and storage bins.
The film premieres in Los Angeles at the San Pedro International Film Festival on November 6th at the Warner Grand Theater. It’s 92 minutes long. Admission is free, but you have to register.