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The Undefeated: Allen Iverson’s Hall of Fame Speech Could be Greatest in Sports History

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allen & victor

Great piece RIGHT HERE by The Undefeated on Allen Iverson, who will be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame this weekend.

That gravitational pull has its source in the city that raised him and the state that claims him. You know this. His Hall of Fame speech will be played across the 757: on Granby Street in Norfolk, Jefferson Avenue in Newport News and dorm rooms at Hampton University. It figures to be the topic at every barbershop Saturday morning. In the six years since Iverson’s last NBA moment, and even longer since his last relevant one, it’s been building up to this. Lips will quiver. He’s going to cry loud. He’s going to cry hard. So will you. So will I.

Iverson, who led the Hoyas to the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 in his two seasons on the Hilltop, will go down as one of the greatest Hoyas of all-time, if not the best.

As a freshman, Iverson lead the Big East in steals, while averaging 20 points and 5 assists per contest. He was named Big East Rookie of the Year and Big East Defensive Player of the Year. Iverson guided the 1994-95 Hoyas to the Sweet 16 where they were stopped by Dean Smith's North Carolina Tar Heels. Some notable North Carolina players at the time were Rasheed Wallace and Jerry Stackhouse.

Iverson's sophomore season was even better than his excellent freshman campaign. He averaged 25 points and 5 assists per game. Georgetown rode Iverson all season long, finishing with a 29-8 record. Those '95-96 Hoyas advanced to the Elite 8, eventually falling short against a stout UMass team led by Marcus Camby. The accolades continued to pour in for Iverson, as he was selected as a First Team All-American and once again the Big East Defensive Player of the Year.

After his sophomore season, Iverson declared for the NBA Draft, becoming the first player to leave Georgetown early under coach John Thompson, Jr. The Philadelphia 76ers selected Iverson with the first overall pick in the NBA Draft.

Iverson's impact both on and off the court are legendary. Off the court, Iverson ushered in the NBA's hip-hop era, nearly single-handedly transforming the culture of the NBA. In addition, his epic "Practice" rant in a press conference has become embedded in our national sports psyche.

Iverson will enter the Hall of Fame along with Yao Ming, Shaquille O'Neal, and others at a ceremony in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Iverson becomes the 5th Hoya to enter the Hall of Fame:

Allen Iverson is the 5th @GeorgetownHoops member to be inducted into the @Hoophall! #HoyaSaxa #TheAnswerpic.twitter.com/aKoEPQz0pA

— Georgetown Hoyas (@georgetownhoyas) April 4, 2016

Congrats to The Answer and Hoya Saxa!