SAN ANTONIO – Derrick Gervin played professional basketball in the NBA and overseas, and now, the brother of Spurs legend George “Ice” Gervin, is using his experiences to inspire local youth to be the best version of themselves on and off the court.
“To me, it was about giving back to kids. Basketball and life are a lot the same to me, so I wanted to give these kids an opportunity to realize some dreams,” Derrick Gervin said.
Derrick Gervin played basketball for the University of Texas at San Antonio and was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1985. He played for the NBA New Jersey Nets from 1989 to 1991 before going to play in Europe. He was eventually back in the U.S. for the short-lived American Basketball Association in his hometown of Detroit.
“(I) hurt my back, so that was the end of my career. I didn't want to play anymore ball. I tried everything I could to get back. I decided I didn't want to go through that anymore,” Derrick Gervin said.
He decided to shift his focus elsewhere, and that's when Team Gervin was born. It’s a sports and mentorship program for children in the San Antonio area.
“Basketball is one avenue, but education is another,” Derrick Gervin said.
One of his players, 13-year-old Wyatt Hall, has big hoop dreams.
“I want to be an NBA basketball player,” Wyatt said. “(Derrick Gervin) always told me, 'Basketball is going to roll away one day, so you always got to have a backup plan.'”
Wyatt said he wants to become a veterinarian if pro basketball doesn’t work out.
“I love dogs. I got two dogs at home. I love all animals, actually," Wyatt said.
Derrick Gervin hopes to inspire passion in all his players
“Life is long sometimes, so if plan A or plan B doesn't work, then what do you do?” Gervin said.
Gervin wants the parents of any children in the area, ages 8-14, who want to be a part of Team Gervin to reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.