Our History

George Gervin Prep Academy got its start when the George Gervin Youth Center opened its doors in 1991. This nonprofit organization was created to provide innovatively designed, comprehensive, and culturally sensitive services to troubled youth and their families. From that mission came our school.

George “Iceman” Gervin, former San Antonio Spurs player and member of the NBA Hall of Fame, has a passion for community service and assisting youth in their educational needs. With a school and community center in San Antonio, Gervin and his supporters extended their reach in 2012 when George Gervin Prep Academy opened to serve middle school youth in the Phoenix area.

George Gervin Prep is a charter school that serves about 250 kindergarten through eighth graders in south Phoenix. Because we are a small school, we can provide individualized instruction to our students, allowing them to reach and achieve their academic potential.

Who Is George Gervin?

George’s early school years were peppered with successes and riddled with struggles on and off the court. In his senior year of high school, he averaged 31 points and 20 rebounds, leading his school to the state basketball quarterfinals. He was a Detroit Free Press All-State selection in 1970. George received a scholarship to play ball at California State University Long Beach but returned home after his first semester. He transferred to Eastern Michigan University and, as a sophomore in 1971–72, averaged 29.5 points.

George learned valuable life lessons during his college ball days that shaped his character. He went on to enjoy a professional basketball career, even earning the nickname “The Iceman” because of his cool demeanor on and off the court. He began with the Virginia Squires and was traded to the San Antonia Spurs, where he was the centerpiece of their exciting, high-powered offense. The Spurs, with George as one of their most dominant offensive players, narrowly missed both the 1976 ABA and 1979 NBA finals.

Despite some disappointments, George was committed to the Spurs, and true to his nickname, “The Iceman,” he never lost his cool and showed no frustration towards his teammates. He went on to lead the NBA in scoring average three years in a row, from 1978 to 1980. Until Michael Jordan, George had the most scoring titles of any guard in league history.

George was traded to the Chicago Bulls right before the 1985–86 season and played next to the up and coming Michael Jordan. After a successful season, in which he played all 82 games, George decided it was time to retire from the NBA.

George Gervin was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996. The Spurs retired his #44 jersey, and he was named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. In 2020, LINEUPS ranked George #27 on its list of Top 50 NBA Players of All Time.

Today, George visits the schools to encourage children to stay focused, do their best, and make their dreams become reality.  

George Gervin posing with basketball trophies George Gervin coaching a game George Gervin playing in a game