The Doctor is in.
Basketball Hall of Famer Julius "Dr. J" Erving, the best-known player to wear a Virginia Squires uniform, will attend a reunion of the American Basketball Association team next month, according to organizers.
"This makes it complete," said Kirk Levy, a Virginia Beach attorney who is organizing the event. "Dr. J is coming back."
Levy had received confirmation from other former Squires, including George "Ice Man" Gervin, Charlie Scott, Doug Moe and Dave Twardzik. Former coach Al Bianchi and owner Earl Foreman are also committed to attend.
The 64-year-old Erving, who began his pro career with the Squires in 1971 and went on to score over 30,000 points combined in the ABA and NBA, confirmed his attendance Tuesday, Levy said.
"The first question everybody asks - potential sponsors, ticket buyers and players - is whether Julius is going to be there," Levy said. "He's the face of the Squires, no question."
The Squires played from 1970-76, and folded just before the ABA and NBA merged. Erving played the 1971-72 and 1972-73 seasons. The cash-strapped team sold his contract to the New Jersey Nets in the summer of 1973, beginning a downward spiral for the franchise. The Squires sold Gervin's contract the following season, and the franchise's final two seasons were marked by declining attendance and red ink.
Levy, who was a ball boy for the team, said the reunion is a "one-time thing," intended to celebrate the region's only major league sports franchise.
"The Squires were here. They were part of our lives and we never had closure," he said.
The reunion tips off May 1 with a basketball clinic at the Williams Recreation Center in Virginia Beach. A reception will be held that night at the Cavalier Beach Club.
On May 2, the Squires will join Virginia Beach business leaders in the Business Appreciation Charity Golf Classic at Virginia Beach National.
Tickets to the May 1 reception are available at the Pembroke One Building, off Independence Boulevard, suite 605, in Virginia Beach Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or online at sportsinsideandout.com. Call 757-965-5027 for information.
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