Julius “Dr. J” Erving

Dr. J is a true original both on and off the court. The Original Tee Golf Classic is proud to celebrate his achievements and present him with the 2008 True Original Award.

Julius Erving, nicknamed the “Doctor” by a high school teammate, is a professional basketball player who helped launch the modern style of play that emphasizes leaping ability and play above the rim. While some players are considered to be “the team”, Dr. J, as he came to be known, was considered “the league.” He is one of only three players in professional basketball history to score a career total of over 30,000 points in professional play.

Erving played college basketball at the University of Massachusetts, where he was one of only six players in NCAA history to average more than 20 points and 20 rebounds per game. Before his retirement, Erving had been selected to six All-ABA teams and seven All-NBA teams, played on sixteen consecutive All-Star teams and led the 76ers to the 1983 NBA Championship. He was also named the ABA MVP three times, the NBA MVP in 1981 and MVP for both the 1977 and the 1983 NBA All-Star games. One year prior to retiring, Dr. J returned to the University of Massachusetts to complete his bachelor’s degree.

Often termed “the ambassador of sport,” Julius gives his time generously to numerous charitable organizations. He has been recognized many times for his outstanding athletic accomplishments and for serving as an exemplary role model for America’s youth.

He is the recipient of the 1983 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, the 1986 Freedom Leadership Award, the 1989 Horatio Alger Award, and he is a 1993 inductee into the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame. In 1996 Erving was named one of the “50 Greatest Players in NBA History” in honor of the NBA’s 50th anniversary.

Today, Dr. J is a self-described “businessman-entrepreneur.” After working as an in-studio analyst for NBC during its coverage of the NBA since 1993, Erving joined the Orlando Magic’s front office staff as Vice President of RDV Sports and Executive Vice President of the Magic from June 1997 through September 2003.

An avid golfer, Erving purchased part of the Heritage Golf Club, a 27-hole facility in Norcross, Georgia. Dr. J and business partner Chuck Watkins bought the club for an undisclosed price from previous owner Maury White in December and have started making changes to raise the club’s profile. “It’s a fabulous location,” said Watkins, an Atlanta native and long-time friend of Erving. “We want people to be glad when they come to play here and feel good about their experience when they leave.” The course, designed by Athens-based architect Mike Young, opened in 1996. It was named one of the best new courses in America that year by Golf Digest.

Original Tee was proud to present Julius Erving, affectionately known as Dr. J, with the 2008 True Original Award.

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