George Gervin has the trademark smile, and at 6’7”, he towers over most people he meets, but as he tours a house and clinic used to help women recover from alcohol and substance addiction, you see a side the cool NBA guard nicknamed “The Iceman,” rarely shows.
"I took the necessary steps to be 22 years sober," said Gervin.
The four scoring titles, the finger roll, the acclaim of being an NBA legend are very nice for Gervin, but 22 years sober, is also an important part in his life.
"I lived in some dark days," said Gervin, as he stands at the front of a packed conference room.
One Spur, no baskets, no flashbulbs, but this audience, is paying attention to Gervin’s every move, and most importantly his every word.
"We are all the same when it comes from trying to recover from alcohol or drugs, so it was easy for me to talk to them because I've experienced some of that in my life," said Gervin.
Alpha Home is a place where female residents spend 70 days in recovery, and then go home. Former Spur Mike Mitchell’s wife works at the San Antonio's facility, and it’s one of the places where Gervin is giving back. First a talk, then a tour. The women he meets along the way pose for pictures, as the CEO of Alpha Home explains what they do.
"This is not just bad guys on the street, these are women who have families, whose families love them and need them back," said Julie Wisdom Wild, Alpha Home’s CEO.
"You know this is something, I don't necessarily like to talk about, but sometimes it's necessary for somebody else to let them know, man you can get better," said Gervin.
He says he dabbled with alcohol and substance abuse as a player, but when he retired the addiction grew. Three times he went to rehab before he finally got sober with the help of John Lucas, his wife and family. It's the kind of help he sees at Alpha Home.
"You know a lot of people fight addiction, a lot of people don't want to admit they're sick, and we lose a lot of people, because (of) not admitting that you have a problem," said Gervin.
A player known for his scoring, who in retirement, may be giving a lifesaving assist.
"I want to be remembered as having an impact on somebody's life in a positive way. I love me, my wife loves me, my children love me; I mean it's good to be loved," said Gervin.
Gervin will be the featured speaker at Alpha Home's “Doorways of Hope” event on March 7.