Allen E. Iverson (1975- )

Allen Iverson, 2008
Courtesy Keith Allison (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Allen Ezail Iverson is an American retired professional basketball player who played fourteen seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played both the point guard and shooting guard positions during his playing time in the NBA. Iverson was born on June 7, 1975, in Hampton, Virginia, to his single fifteen-year-old mother Ann Iverson.

Iverson attended Bethel High School where he played both football and basketball. On February 13, 1993, Iverson and his friends were involved in an altercation at a bowling alley with a group of white youth. During the fight, Iverson allegedly struck a woman in the head with a chair. Iverson, who was seventeen at the time, was convicted of three felony counts and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. He was granted conditional clemency by Virginia Governor Lawrence Douglas Wilder and released after serving four months.

Iverson had to complete his senior year of high school at Richard Milburn High School, a school for at risk-students. The three years that Iverson spent at Bethel High School had convinced Georgetown University John Thompson to meet Iverson and offer him a full scholarship to join the Georgetown Hoyas basketball team. In his first season with Georgetown in 1994–1995, Iverson won the Big East Rookie of the Year award and was named to the All-Rookie Tournament First Team. He led the Hoyas to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament which they lost to the University of North Carolina. During his second year at Georgetown in 1995–96, he led the Hoyas to a Big East Championship and to the Elite 8 round of the NCAA tournament which they lost to the University of Massachusetts. During his time with the Georgetown Hoyas, he had a scoring average of 22.9 points per games and was named a First Team All-American.

Iverson was selected first overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1996 NBA Draft. In his rookie season, he broke Wilt Chamberlain’s record of three straight games with 40 points. Iverson was named Rookie of the Year during 1996–1997 season when he averaged about 23.5 points a game.

Iverson’s best season in the NBA came in 2000–2001 when he won the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award averaging 31.1 points per game. He also led the Philadelphia 76ers to the 2001 NBA Finals against Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and the Los Angeles Lakers where the 76ers lost to the Lakers in five games. Iverson remained with the 76ers until the 2006–07 season when he was traded to the Denver Nuggets to play alongside Carmelo Anthony. In 2008 Iverson was traded to the Detroit Pistons. Iverson played with the Memphis Grizzlies briefly during 2009–2010 NBA season before returning with the Philadelphia 76ers in January 2010 where he only played with the team for a month before leaving the team to take care of his daughter, Messiah.

Iverson’s NBA career came to an end after the 2009–2010 season. He played basketball overseas with the Turkish Basketball club, Besiktas. His time with the team lasted ten games before he underwent leg surgery in early 2011. Iverson retired from basketball in October 2013. In 2016 he was elected into Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Iverson was married to Tawanna Turner in 2001, and the couple had five children Tiaura, Isaiah, Messiah, Allen (Jr.), and Dream Alijha before the couple divorced in 2013.