MACON, Ga. (School Release) - The Mercer Athletic Foundation (MAF) announced Friday that NBA legend George Gervin has signed on as the keynote speaker for the fourth annual Tip-Off Banquet, scheduled for Thursday, October 25 at the University Center.
Gervin follows former speakers Clark Kellogg (2011), Jay Bilas (2010), and Dick Vitale (2009) at the annual event designed to elicit support for the upcoming men's and women's basketball season.
"The MAF is pleased to bring George Gervin to Mercer for its annual tip-off basketball banquet," MAF President John Collier said. "The appearance of the 'Iceman' continues the MAF tradition of bringing outstanding sports personalities to the Middle Georgia area. In years past, the MAF has sponsored Dick Vitale, Jay Bilas, Chipper Jones, and others. The 'Iceman' will give the attendees an inside look at the college and pro game."
The event also serves as the primary fundraiser for both Mercer basketball programs, and has received capacity crowds in each of its first three years of existence. Patrons can reserve their seats at this year's event by calling (478) 301-4003. Tables with 10 seats are priced at $500 while single seats are going for $60. Additional options for table sponsorship are available.
Also commonly known as "The Iceman", Gervin played in both the American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Virginia Squires, San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls. Gervin averaged at least 14 points per game in all 14 of his ABA and NBA seasons, and finished with an NBA career average of 26.2 points per game. Gervin is widely regarded to be one of the best shooting guards in NBA history.
Nicknamed "Iceman" for his cool demeanor on the court, Gervin was primarily known for his scoring talents. His first scoring crown came in 1978, when he narrowly edged David Thompson for the scoring title by seven hundredths of a point (27.22 to 27.15). Although Thompson came up with a memorable performance for the last game of the regular season, scoring 73 points, Gervin maintained his slight lead by scoring 63 points (including an NBA record at the time 33 points in the second quarter) in his last game of the season. Gervin had the most scoring titles of any guard in league history.
Gervin was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, had his No. 44 jersey retired by the Spurs and was named to the NBA's 50 Greatest Players. Gervin was ranked No. 45 on SLAM Magazine's Top 50 NBA Players of All Time in 2009.
He remains active in the San Antonio Community with his seven organizations designed specifically for underprivileged kids. Gervin's flagship endeavor in San Antonio is the George Gervin Academy, a Pre-K through 12th grade charter school with a core mission of providing innovative pathways to motivate today's students to become tomorrow's leaders. The Academy has enjoyed so much success that a second school, The George Gervin Prep Academy, has opened in Phoenix, Arizona. Gervin is beloved in San Antonio and believes that his own experience as an underprivileged child in Michigan inspired him to get involved.
Gervin holds the distinction of being a former teammate of both Julius Erving (with the Squires) and Michael Jordan (with the Bulls).