Allen Iverson was born to 15 year old Ann Iverson on June 7, 1975 in Hampton, Virginia. His father left the family before Iverson was born. At a young age Allen loved basketball and football. He led the Bethel High School basketball and football program to the Virginia State Championships and earned the AP Athlete of the Year awards.
In 1993 Iverson made national news when he was charged for being involved in a fight at a bowling alley. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison but only served 4 months before he was granted clemency by Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder. After serving his time and being let off with conditional clemency, Iverson attended Richard Milburn High School. While there, Iverson’s basketball talent caught the attention of John Thompson, a basketball coach at Georgetown University.
For two years, Iverson played for the Georgetown Hoyas. He was named defensive player of the year twice and led his team to the NCAA tournament. In June 1996, the Philadelphia 76ers made him the #1 pick in the NBA draft. Many criticized Iverson for his “street” style of play. Players and coaches argued that he was too selfish for his position (point guard) because he refused to pass the ball. Many also criticized that his tattoos and cornrows were unprofessional and too “gangsta” like. Despite all of the criticism for his persona, it was impossible to deny his talent.
In 1999 Iverson was the #1 scorer in the NBA and earned an NBA All Star title. For the 2000-2001 season, Iverson was named MVP and continued to dominate the NBA for the next few years. Simultaneously, off of the court he found himself in some trouble which drew more criticism.
In 2006 Iverson was traded to the Denver Nuggets. He tried playing for a few other teams, but soon found himself back in Philadelphia with the 76ers in 2009. That same year, Iverson announced that he would be retiring from the NBA. In 2016 Iverson was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Many remember Iverson as one of the most exciting, talented and innovative players of the game. He inspires many to stay true to who they are and reminds everyone that no matter where life takes you, always stay humble and always get back up after a failure.