Former PC Friars Star Ernie “Pop” Lewis Passes Away

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Ernie “Pop” Lewis, 51, passed away Wednesday at home with his family in Philadelphia.  The former Friars legend was a critical part of Providence’s magical run to the Final Four in 1987. 

Lewis averaged 11.8 points per game and 4.2 rebounds during the 1986-87 season and was co-captain of the Friars team that lost to Syracuse in the Final Four game, completing a stellar 25-9 record for the season.

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As the 1986-87 season was the first to incorporate the 3-point shot into the College game, Lewis instantly became one of the first three-point sharpshooters in the country, connecting on 42% in the inaugural three-pointer season.

Perhaps most famously, “Pop” drained a game-winning three from the corner in a game against Georgetown in the final seconds to knock off the nationally-ranked Hoya powerhouse.  That shot remains one of the most memorable and historic in the history of Friars basketball.

From all accounts of people recounting “Pop,” he was an even better person than he was a basketball player.  The soft-spoken guy who you would never know was a star basketball player when you saw him around campus and just an all-around great guy in every way.

Here are some nice words from around Twitter and other places about the Providence star.

“Pop had a kind soul. Everybody loved Pop.” – Former Friars teammate Harold Starks

R.I.P. Pop.  Once A Friar, Always A Friar.

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