KENTON - Jerry Lucas, known for his supreme basketball skills, is making a new name for himself - in field of education.
Thursday evening nearly 70 members of the Ohio State Alumni Club of Hardin County, as well as community members, saw an animated presentation by Lucas on the new way he plans on revolutionizing learning.
Lucas, now 69, said he's been involved in memory training his entire life. As a boy he invented mind games to keep himself entertained.
Through conditioning his mind with new ways to learn and memorize things, Lucas has established the Lucas Learning System. The system focuses on linking visuals with things that don't have an identity, such as pronouns and Arkansas.
To remember a pronoun, Lucas created an image of a Catholic nun with a golf club. She was a professional golf player, hence pro-nun. Lucas ingrains that image in the mind, so every time you hear pronoun, you see the visual.
Robert Simmons, club president, said he has fond memories from his childhood of watching Lucas play basketball.
"I'm excited that he's here, no one has worked harder in basketball than him," Simmons said to the crowd. "I'm impressed with his new focus in life on memory and he will really help the youth in America."
Lucas said he travels and hosts learning and memory training programs.
"I do a lot of creative writing and animation," Lucas said. "I am very busy but I love getting up every morning to get to work."
Lucas said in three to four years he hopes to have a Web site with three-dimensional images of all his animations. Lucas has authored more than 60 books on learning and memory training.
Lucas said he's had numerous multimillion-dollar contract offers with television but that his life is about making a difference, not money.
"Kids can now be motivated to learn because this is something that excites them and is fun," Lucas said about his learning system.
Members of the crowd were both nostalgic for the basketball star side of Lucas, but excited about his new endeavors.
"I watched him play when I was younger and idolized him," said Clair Sanders, Kenton resident. "I hope he's successful."
Sue Sanders, a former school teacher and Kenton resident, said Lucas' system has the potential for children to learn quicker.
"It's a trip down memory lane to see him, I grew up watching him," she said.
Originally from Middletown, Lucas said he doesn't visit his childhood home very often because he no longer has family there. He did say he'd be teaching a course there in July.
Lucas won a national championship in basketball at Ohio State University and has played professional basketball for a number of teams. Lucas also played on the 1960 Rome Olympics team.