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The renovated court in Idaho Falls is named after Cleave Lewis

"This is something that I didn't expect."

Cleave Lewis

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) — The renovated basketball court in the Idaho Falls Recreation center now has a new name. It is called the Cleave Lewis Court on Memorial. Chris Horsley made the announcement in front of a small crowd of people assembled to see the new gymnasium floor. Cleave Lewis was among them.

When he heard the news, Lewis wore an expression of shock, then his eyes welled with tears. He was quickly greeted by friends who hugged him, shook his hand and offered congratulations. Lewis and a few of his friends were invited to be the first to shoot hoops in the renovated facility.

"Yeah, it's quite a surprise," Lewis said. "This is something that I didn't expect. I've been a part of this place since I was a kid. This is where I grew up. This is where I worked on my craft, so this place has been a big part of my life."

Photo Credit: Ashley Chilcutt

Lewis is local basketball legend. He graduated from Skyline High School in 1979 and went on to play college basketball at Fresno State. In 1985, cleave started his professional career in Europe.

"Upon retiring and returning, he chose to come back to Idaho Falls," said Chris Horsley, Recreation Superintendent. "And, he came back to the rec center where he spent decades mentoring and teaching the love of his life, which is basketball."

Though he is retired, Lewis is still coaching the next generation of athletes. He hopes his legacy will inspire kids to become who they strive to be.

"There'll be another kid that comes along and falls in love with this place just like I did," said Lewis. "The thing that I always tell kids when I talk to them, 'Just believe in your dreams. Always believe in your dreams.' When you believe in your dreams, anything is possible."

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Ashley Chilcutt

Ashley is a reporter and producer for Local News 8.


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