Dr. J tours raises awareness of needy children in Israel

Thursday, May 29, 2008 |  staff writer

Basketball legend Julius Erving, “Dr. J,” met with President Shimon Peres while on a good will tour of Israel for underprivileged children.

Erving, who visited Israel with fellow National Basketball Association Hall of Famer Rick Barry, was here to raise awareness for underprivileged children in Migdal Or (Tower of Light) in northern Israel.

Erving called Israel an inspiration for Jews in America, as well as other minorities. “I am truly inspired to be an ambassador for the country and for the village,” he said.

Dr. J, one of basketball’s legends, transformed the game in the 1970s with his tomahawk slam dunk. Erving led the Philadelphia 76ers to three national championships and is the fifth highest scorer in basketball history with 30,026 points.

Peres praised Erving for his work in building bridges between different people groups and breaking down barriers for minorities.

“I think if we built first sports organizations instead of politics, the whole world would be better,” Peres said.

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