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Julius Erving I knew basketball was a way out And I worked hard to succeed Julius Erving was born in Hempstead Long Island His father left the family when Julius was only three His mother worked as a domestic to support her three children The family lived in a public housing project and life was difficult but Mrs Erving worked to instill a sense of self-worth in her children and young Julius realized his gift for basketball could be a ticket to a better life By age ten Julius was averaging eleven points a game with his Salvation Army team When Julius Erving was 13 his mother remarried and the family moved to the nearby town of Roosevelt There Julius maintained a high academic average and played on the high school team all-county and all-Long Island teams competing in state-wide tournaments Erving acquired the nickname the Doctor while still at Roosevelt High His teammates would later alter this to Dr J The basketball coach at Roosevelt High Ray Wilson introduced young Julius to Coach Jack Leaman of the University of Massachusetts After high school Erving entered the university where Ray Wilson was hired as assistant coach the following year At Massachusetts Erving broke freshman records for scoring and rebounding leading his team through an undefeated season The next year he had the second best rebound tally in the country Over the summer he joined an NCAA all-star team touring Western Europe and the Soviet Union He was voted most valuable player on this tour Julius Erving left the University to go professional after his junior year He is one of only seven players in the history of NCAA basketballto average over 20 points and 20 rebounds per game In 1971 Julius Erving began his professional career with the Virginia Squires of the
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