High School Insider: Jerry Lucas returns to Wade E. Miller Gymnasium for a final time

Jerry Lucas will return to Wade E. Miller Gymnasium for a final time Friday night.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer and one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players will be in Middletown as the Middies play their final basketball game at the famed high school gymnasium against longtime rival Hamilton.

The gymnasium, which opened in 1952, is scheduled to be razed during the 2018-19 school year.

Middletown will open its new arena, named Wade E. Miller Arena, on Saturday.

Prior to the final game, Lucas discussed his Middletown memories with the WCPO High School Insider Podcast.

Those memories include the famous pickup games at Sunset Park and the 13,000-plus crowds at the Cincinnati Gardens for the Middletown versus Hamilton games in the 1950s.

Lucas won two state titles at Middletown (1956 and 1957) which included a 76-game win streak (1955 to 1958). He won an NCAA title at Ohio State (1960) and the NBA title with the Knicks (1973). He was also a member of the 1960 Olympic team that won gold.

Lucas, 77, also discussed his academic pursuits at Middletown and Ohio State and where he used to eat after high school games on Friday nights.

You’ll hear Lucas discus his lifetime work in memory and educational endeavors including his famous memorization of pages in the Manhattan phone book.

And you’ll hear about a famous party at Robert Redford’s apartment in New York City in which Bobby Fischer put Lucas to the test with his memorization skills.

Listen to this episode in the player above.

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