Allen Iverson Q + A
AI talks about basketball, life skills at Camp Crossover.
The day before the Allen Iverson Celebrity Game in Greensboro, I decided to roll up to the Greensboro Sportsplex and check out Allen’s Camp Crossover. More than just a basketball camp, Camp Crossover was half basketball, half life skills. Embracing all of the principles of The Answer’s I Choose Life Foundation, the players received a first hand life lesson in what NOT to do in life through Allen’s first hand account of the trials and tribulations that he encountered early in his career. He concluded the camp with signing copies of SLAM 150 and passing out awards to all of the young ones.
We had a chance to chop it up with Iverson for a little after the camp was over. We touched on why he brought his celebrity weekend to Greensboro, the I Choose Life Foundation, and what’s up next for him.
SLAM: You’ve got a pretty unique thing going on here with a basketball camp that encompasses much more than just basketball, and you brought it to a completely different state. Explain what you’ve got going on here.
Allen Iverson: It’s just something for the kids. Just giving back, that’s it. We’re bringing it out here to Carolina because there’s a big basketball tradition and I’m pretty sure through doing research that not many guys with my basketball background have done camps here. We’re just here to try to give back and bring this to a lot of kids and families who appreciate it.
SLAM: Being from the 757 and all, what made you decide to bring everything to Greensboro?
AI: Just doing research and bringing a camp to somewhere where it’s not usually done. That’s why I told my manager to find some spots where it’s not done a whole lot and he chose this spot.
SLAM: One thing that’s different about your camp as opposed to most others is the emphasis that you guys are putting on the off the court stuff through your I Choose Life foundation. Tell me a little about that…
AI: I mean, the whole thing is trying to save lives and send a positive message. I didn’t have people to be able to do that for me, and now that I have the opportunity to do it for someone else, it was an important thing for me in my heart to make sure I did it.
SLAM: You’ve got the game set for tomorrow with a pretty impressive list of guys. What all do you have going on with the game?
AI: It’s just a celebrity game for the fans to have fun. I don’t know how intense it’s going to get. For me, obviously with the lockout going on, I’m definitely not going to go out there and do nothing to hurt me or an opportunity for me to get a job.
SLAM: Speaking of those opportunities, what’s next for you?
AI: Only God knows. My whole thing is to stay in shape and work on my game to stay as sharp as I can and get on another roster.
SLAM: So are we talking NBA? Europe? What?
AI: Obviously for me, I want to be in the NBA. Obviously, I want to be closer to my family, but my whole thing is to go somewhere where people want me. Somewhere where I will truly be accepted. I just want to be wanted. That’s my whole thing. I want to go somewhere where they want me to help their team win.
SLAM: What are your thoughts on stars like Deron Williams leaving to play in Europe during the lockout? What would you have done if you were the scoring champ and the lockout hit?
AI: I don’t know. I mean, I have no idea. I would just weigh my options and do what’s best for me and my family.