YPSILANTI, Mich., Dec. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Eastern Michigan University announced the renaming of its Convocation Center to the George Gervin GameAbove Center in partnership with GameAboveTM to honor basketball Legend George “Iceman” Gervin. EMU unveiled the naming on Dec. 11 during the EMU Men’s Basketball game vs. Florida International, promoted as George Gervin Day.
GameAbove committed an additional $2.7 million to EMU Athletics to improve the facility’s technology infrastructure and enhance the student-athlete and visitor experience, including upgrades to athletic training facilities, team meeting rooms, visitor suites, and the EMU Hall of Fame. To date, GameAbove and its members have donated over $25 million to EMU to support students, faculty, staff, and the Ypsilanti community.
“George has built a wonderfully impactful legacy,” said Keith J. Stone, GameAbove Advisory Board member, and Gervin’s long-time friend. “He is truly a special person to me and so many others across the country. As a Detroit native and one of the best to ever play at EMU, this recognition is long overdue given all that he has accomplished on and off the court.”
Gervin was part of the EMU men’s basketball team from 1970-72 and led the team to the 1972 NCAA College Division National Championship Final Four. He played in the American Basketball Association, then eventually rose to stardom in the NBA. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and recently named to the NBA 75th Anniversary team. Gervin also established youth and community centers in San Antonio and Phoenix. His centers have impacted thousands of youth annually. “With all those accolades, I believe his work with children and his academies have elevated him to a level much higher than a great athlete,” said EMU Athletic Director Scott Wetherbee. “He’s a great person and in addition to him being in our Hall of Fame and having his number hanging in the rafters, we wanted to make sure his name would be synonymous with EMU.”
Outside of the building’s new name, Gervin’s incredible achievements will be depicted in a new documentary planned for release in early 2022. The documentary will highlight Gervin’s life, both on the court and off. Mike Tollin, who produced The Last Dance,the Emmy-winning documentary series about Michael Jordan and his last year with the Chicago Bulls, is the executive producer. The documentary’s director is One9, who directed Nas: Time is Illmatic, and L.A. Burning: The Riots 25 Years Later.
“We are excited to put George’s name on this building,” said EMU President Jim Smith. “George personifies the kinds of traits all successful people show-resilience, bravery, kindness and vision to make our world a better place. These traits are the cornerstones of our partnership with GameAbove. They continue to provide the vision to help move our university forward.”
GameAbove at EMU’s primary focus is to help shape, inspire and support the current and future students of Eastern Michigan University by reaching new heights in learning through transformation and inspiration in the educational experience. The GameAbove family of organizations will also help improve the higher education experience by exploring and supporting innovative financial models to sustain universities, creative giving within the community, enhancing the campus environment, elevating athletics, and promoting pioneering academic programs. www.gameabove.com.
About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University’s Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit www.emich.edu.