Spurs legend George Gervin was awarded with an honorary doctorate of education degree from his alma mater, Eastern Michigan University, at the university’s commencement ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 18.
“I am truly humbled and honored to be the recipient of the honorary doctorate of education from my alma mater, Eastern Michigan University,” said Gervin, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in May of 1996.
Gervin, who played two seasons for Eastern Michigan (1971-72), was recognized by the university for his commitment to serving youth in San Antonio through various efforts, including the George Gervin Youth Center. The GGYC, which was created in 1991, provides vocational training, remedial education, mentoring, tutoring, job placement and supportive services for over 1,400 of San Antonio’s at-risk and disadvantaged youth and their families. The organization’s mission is to provide innovative, comprehensive, culturally sensitive service to positively impact the lives of troubled youth and their families.
“It was great to have George Gervin back on Eastern’s campus,” said Susan Martin, president of Eastern Michigan University. “His commencement address to students conveyed powerful and important themes about education being a lifelong process, the importance of family, and the value of giving back and volunteering to help your community. We respect the amazing skills he brought to the basketball court here at Eastern and in San Antonio, but even more importantly we admire the efforts of George and his wife, Joyce, to help children and families in San Antonio to better their lives and achieve their dreams.”
During his 14-year professional career, Gervin established himself as one of the most prolific scorers in basketball history. In three ABA seasons and 11 NBA seasons he scored 26,595 career points, which is the 14th highest combined ABA/NBA total in history. Gervin spent 12 of his 14 professional seasons in San Antonio and had his No. 44 jersey retired by the Spurs in Dec. of 1987. Gervin, who has served as a community responsibility representative for Spurs Sports and Entertainment since 1994, posted career averages of 25.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 1,060 regular season games.