WQED documentary follows Duquesne star and NBA player’s Alzheimer’s battle |

WQED documentary follows Duquesne star and NBA player’s Alzheimer’s battle

Mary Pickels

Former Duquesne University and NBA Syracuse National’s star Jim Tucker is the inspiration for the Readily Apparent Media documentary “Let ‘Em Know You’re There” , airing on WQED on Thursday.

Tucker’s 60-year-old record for fastest triple double is the stuff of basketball legend, a news release notes.

His story sheds light on an NRA era many are not familiar with. Tucker’s team, the Syracuse Nationals, is recognized for helping to integrate the basketball league, the release states.

The team also introduced the shot clock in a turbulent time seeing the end of many small market teams.

The nationals capitalized on those changes, the release adds, winning their first and only NBA championship in 1955 before the team became the Philadelphia 76ers.

Those years and those experiences are fading from Tucker’s memory as he struggles with Alzheimer’s Disease, the release says.

In contrast, it notes, the people he touched live on vividly in his memory.

“We were comfortable doing a sports doc, but we also wanted to do something much more than that. [Yet] even we were surprised how deep the story was, emotionally and personally,” director Field Humphrey says in the release.

Made in partnership with the Onondaga Historical Association in Syracuse, N.Y., the documentary will air on various

PBS stations, beginning at 8 p.m. Sept. 13 on WQED.

The film will air following a Sept. 12 screening and panel discussion at his alma mater, Duquesne University, featuring speakers provided by the Alzheimer’s Association and the Chuck Cooper Foundation .

Details: or

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

Former Duquesne University and NBA Syracuse Nationals star Jim Tucker is battling Alzheimer’s Disease. His achievements are recorded in the documentary ‘Let ‘Em Know You’re There,’ airing Thursday on WQED.
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