Filed under: NBA | Tags: ABA, George Gervin, Ice, ice man, iceman, mcfarlane, mcfarlane toys, NBA, San Antonio Spurs, Todd McFarlane
By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor
When you think of George Gervin, the first thing that usually comes to mind is that sweet finger roll he made famous.
The Iceman and the finger roll have been synonymous with each other since Gervin started playing basketball.
McFarlane Toys has immortalized that pose – ABA style.
Fans can’t get the special figurine that depicts Gervin in a San Antonio Spurs ABA uniform just anywhere. It’s not available at McFarlane’s website or in stores.
The only place to pick up this exclusive statue is through Babaie Promotions Inc., (www.bpifanconnect.com). Part of the proceeds will go to the George Gervin Youth Center, a K-12 charter school in San Antonio that offers a number of services for students and their families.
Autographed figurines cost $54.99 and the unsigned versions go for $49.99. Only 4,400 have been made and there are fewer than 800 left. Figurines can be purchased on the company’s website or at San Antonio Spurs basketball games where BPI has set up a table.
“We try to come up with creative ways to do fundraisers,” Gervin said. “I am real proud of what we do. My background is teamwork and when you’re able to put a good team together and a quality team where everyone understands their role, you become successful. In basketball terms, you became a champ.”
Alix Babaie approached Gervin with the idea in November 2009. Gervin was one of Babaie’s favorite players growing up in San Antonio and appreciated everything the Hall-of-Famer has done for the area.
He also is a big McFarlane fan and thought this was a way to help give back to the community.
“It’s been incredible,” Babaie said. “Ice was my idol. He really believed in this and really believes in trying to get this done.”
Gervin’s first McFarlane figurine appeared in 2008, part of the NBA Legends series.
He helped the Spurs transition from the ABA to the NBA and led the NBA in scoring five times. Gervin grew up in Detroit, but once he got to San Antonio, he never left. San Antonio became his home and he has found ways to give back to those who welcomed the 12-time All-Star.
The newest McFarlane figure tickled Gervin. He was in the ABA for parts of four seasons and hasn’t forgotten those roots.
“I thought it was kind of cool,” he said after seeing the silver uniform and red, white and blue basketball with the figure. “It has my signature shot. I’m a little biased toward that.”
BPI doesn’t intend to stop here with its exclusives. Babaie is working to secure more athletes to deals and support other charities. He is in talks with retired and current players.
Babaie hopes his next project will be with former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon. He hopes to secure that deal in time for the National Sports Collectors Convention next August, which will be in Rosemont, Ill.
“I’m really dedicated to this,” said Babaie, who has worked for AT&T for 14 years. “No one is really doing anything like this. We learned a lot from having this project out there. We want to get it done the way the people want it.”
For more information on the George Gervin Youth Center visit: http://www.iceman44.org.
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