HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Basketball Hall of Famer Allen Iverson visited his alma mater in Hampton on Tuesday for a special celebration.
A brand new gymnasium at Bethel High School is now named after him.
Iverson gave a speech during the ceremony and got a little teary-eyed. He said he is where he is today because of his parents, friends, teachers and others who supported him at Bethel.
“We, us … Virginia — we beautiful, we the best, and we the toughest. We the strongest, and we believe in each other,” he said.
Iverson said it’s an emotional experience to dedicate himself to a gym, then have it dedicated back to him years later.
“Because a lot of the people that [are] here, if they weren’t in my life, this day wouldn’t have come, you know what I mean. I know I didn’t do this by myself. It’s so many people that walk these hallways that helped me develop and be the legendary icon that I am,” he said.
Part of the entryway to the gym showcases some of Iverson’s memorabilia from his days in the NBA.
And, of course, some young basketball players couldn’t help but shoot some hoops on the shiny new court.
Iverson told the kids playing on the court that they should never give up on their dreams, and never forget those who helped them get where they want to be.
Iverson and Gary Moore, of Moore Management & Entertainment LLC, both formerly attended Bethel High School have supported the school’s athletics for more than 15 years. Their support helped build the new gym.
Both attended Tuesday’s ceremony, as well as school and city officials.