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In Photos: George "The Ice Man" Gervin statue unveiled at Eastern Michigan
One of the all-time greatest basketball players gets to see a statue in his image erected in front of his alma mater.
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Eastern Michigan broke ground into the future by honoring its past Thursday in front of its basketball and football arenas. George Gervin, the coolest guy on the court, the inventor of the finger roll, received one of the biggest honors in sports: he had a statue built in his image.
Right outside the George Gervin GameAbove Center, formerly known as the Convocation Center up until December 11, 2021, a bronzed statue with Gervin’s iconic finger roll in his old Eastern Michigan Hurons uniform.
Gervin played at EMU from 1970-1972. In his second season, the Detroit native helped EMU reach an 18-game winning streak, played into the NCAA College Division national semifinal round, and went on to have one of the greatest basketball careers of all time. Julius “Dr. J” Erving and Roland “Fatty” Taylor helped give Gervin his first real nickname: “Iceberg Slim”, which naturally morphed into “The Ice Man.” To prove his coolness on the court, he was a nine-time NBA All-star, five-time All-NBA First Team, was a four-time NBA scoring champion, was listed to the NBA’s 50th and 75th anniversary teams, and has had his numbers #44 and #24 respectively retired by both the San Antonio Spurs and Eastern Michigan.
The statue was sculpted by Ben Victor, 44, who is the only living sculptor to have three works in the National Sanctuary Hall.
EMU held a statue-unveiling event Thursday afternoon with family and friends of Gervin, GameAbove members and school regents. Below is a gallery of some of the pictures I took from the event.