SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Eagle Harbor resident Jim Tucker may not know he has become a bit more famous these days after a short documentary film made about his NBA basketball career was recently awarded an Emmy Award from the Mid-Atlantic Emmy Chapter.
"The film team was extremely nice with Jim, and he loved telling them his stories," said Tucker's wife of 35 years, Jan. "When I told Jim, he smiled."
The Onondaga Historical Association in Syracuse produced the film with OHA director Gregg Tripoli using the film to tell the story of Tucker's NBA pioneer days with the 1955 Syracuse Nationals. Tucker and teammate Earl Lloyd were the first African-Americans to win an NBA championship.
The film, titled “Let ‘Em Know You’re There: The Story of Big Jim and the Triple Double” is a 30-minute film, reminding fans of how Syracuse changed the game of basketball as we knew it, creating the 24-second shot clock, while telling the story of Tucker, who held the record for the fastest triple-double in NBA history for 63 years.
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh credited Tripoli for using film to tell Tucker’s story and the 1955 Syracuse Nationals.
"Gregg and his team at the OHA have not been content just letting history sit in the museum," said Walsh, in a radio interview on WAER in Syracuse. "They're tireless in finding new and creative ways to bring Syracuse's history to the rest of the community and even the rest of the world.
Tripoli commented that it took years of research and interviews to make the 25-minute documentary called “Let ‘Em Know You’re There: The Story of Big Jim and the Triple Double.”
"It's important that people learn and recognize that Syracuse changed the game of basketball forever with the 24 second shot clock," said Tripoli. "That we helped integrate the National Basketball Association with the first two black men on an NBA championship team. That one of those players, Earl Lloyd, was the very first black man to set foot on an NBA court. And that the other, the protagonist in this film, Jim Tucker, set an NBA record for a triple double ... that's double digits in points, rebounds and assists in that championship season that lasted an incredible 63 years until it was finally broken last year."
The film was produced by Readily Apparent Media was chosen over two other documentaries for the award.