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Raymond Lewis - Film/Stream
Rych McCain Media Syndication  and Rych McCain Black Youth Self-Esteem Workshops Rych McCain Media Syndication and Rych McCain Black Youth Self-Esteem Workshops
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Los Angeles, CA
Tuesday, November 1, 2022


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Raymond Lewis - Film/Stream

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Raymond Lewis: L.A. Legend

Premieres Theatrically Oct. 27 & on VOD Nov.  1


Story of Basketball’s Best-Kept Secret Revealed in

Award-Winning Documentary, Named Finalist for the

Prestigious 2022 Library ofCongress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film


Blackballed by the NBA, 1970s Basketball Star From Watts,California, Left an Indelible

Mark on the Game of Basketball for Generations … at DevastatingPersonal Expense




    Following an award-winning run on the film festivalcircuit, the powerful story of a basketball phenom from Watts, California—whomany believe was blackballed from the NBA in the ’70s—Raymond Lewis: L.A.Legend premieres theatrically and on VOD, from prize-winningdocumentarian Ryan Polomski (Statevs. Reed) and co-director/producer Dean Prator.


     One of six finalists on a short list of nominees for theprestigious 2022 Library of CongressLavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film, anational award for historical documentary filmmakers (winners to be announcedOct. 18 in Washington, D.C.), this compelling documentary will enjoy a one-weektheatrical run at the at the Lumiere Music Hall Cinema in BeverlyHills Oct. 27, before premiering Nov. 1 on VOD oniTunes, Amazon Video Direct, Google Play, Microsoft, InDemand, Plex, Roku andFandango. 


     A “once-in-a-generation” hoops talent who broke scoring recordsand thrilled packed gyms, the shy, first-round NBA draft pick from SouthCentral Los Angeles quickly faded from the national spotlight when hisprofessional dreams were dashed. However, Lewis waged an epic, decade-longbattle to get back into the league and achieve his life-long dream of being apro. An extraordinary, heartbreaking and ultimately tragic story (Lewis died in2001, at age 48) that left an indelible mark on the game of basketball, helpedprogress the equitable treatment of Black athletes for generations to come andforever touched those lucky enough to have seen Lewis’ awe-inspiring performances.


     Told from the personal and powerful perspectiveof those who knew him best—friends, family, coaches and formerteammates—including daughter Kamilah Rae Lewis, famed NCAA basketball coach JerryTarkanian, former L.A. Laker Michael Cooper, sports marketing icon Sonny Vaccaro, NCAA College coach Lorenzo Romar and civil rights icon Dr. HarryEdwards, among others.  The film also features an array ofnever-before-seen archival film dating back over 50 years and rare, uncoveredphotographs that bring to life this touching and unpredictable story thattranscends sports and will appeal to all audiences.


In Raymond Lewis: L.A. Legend …

     From the playgrounds of Wattsin South Central, Los Angeles, to astounding and unprecedented, record-breakingperformances in high school at Verbum Dei High School and college at Cal State L.A., Raymond Lewis was deemeda sure bet” for NBA stardom by everyone who sawhim play.

Raymond Lewis in action as a college sophomore with Cal State LA vs Cal State Long Beach. 


     Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers as a19-year-old, college sophomore in the first round of the 1973 NBA draft, hisfuture seemed predestined ... yet he never played in an NBA game, derailed byan ugly, racially motivated, contract dispute with the 76ers and an epic,on-the-court battle with the team's other first-round pick, Olympic star DougCollins, who was White.




     Allegations of league blackballing began to circulate, and, for the next decade, Lewis continued to dominate on theplayground and in gyms back home while simultaneously and stubbornly chasinghis NBA dream. Sans professional advice in a racially charged climate, Lewiswas considered and rejected in other NBA drafts ... leaving many towonder, Whatever happened to Raymond Lewis?


Lewis family with wife and daughter


     Now, an award-winning filmmaking team unravelsthis powerful and historically significant story, a personal journey from younghoops phenom (who was interviewed by iconic, NBC sportscaster Bryant Gumbel atjust 19 years old) to NBA pariah and examines the lasting impact thebattle had on Lewis, his family and on the South Central L.A. community ... aswell as the enduring imprint his struggle had on the game of basketball forBlack athletes for generations to come.


     This one-of-a-kind documentary tells the unforgettablestory of a man who never abandoned his dream and, along the way, became anall-time basketball legend.

Ray's daughter Kamilah Rae Lewis and Dean Prater, both were producers for the documentary.

     From Beach City Media and Retro Bros.Productions
RaymondLewis: L.A. Legend was directed by Ryan Polomski andproduced by Kamilah Rae LewisRyan PolomskiDean PratorAnthonySamad and Renard Young. ExecutiveProduced by Ryan PolomskiDean PratorBrianPanish and Ed Gordon. Cinematography by Travis Auclair. Edited by Ryan Polomski.Distributed by Beach City Media.


     In addition to the Ken Burns prize nomination, RaymondLewis: L.A. Legend was a Special Jury Selection for Best FeatureDocumentary at the 2021 Pan African Film Festival, won Best Documentary at the 2021 San Pedro InternationalFilm Festival andwas an official selection at the 2021 Black Harvest Film Festival,2021 Bronze Lens Film Festival, 2021 Houston International SportsFilm Festival and 2021 Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival.

2022 Rych McCain Media/Syndication TM

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