Allen Iverson thanks former coach John Thompson for saving his life

The 2016 Basketball Hall of Fame class was inducted Friday night, headlined by Yao Ming, Allen Iverson and Shaquille O'Neal. Time_Sports

Twenty-two years ago, Hall of Fame Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson took a chance onAllen Iverson — a young, undeniably gifted high school athlete with three felony convictions (that were eventually overturned) after a bowling alley brawl in his hometown of Hampton, Va.

On Friday night, Iverson was inducted into theNaismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Thompson accompanied him on stage.

Shortly into his acceptance speech, an emotional Iverson paid homage to the man who gave him an opportunity when nobody else would, an opportunity that led to a Hall of Fame basketball career and, as Iverson put it, saved his life.



"I want to thank coach Thompson ... for saving my life," Iverson began, voice trembling. "For giving me the opportunity. I was recruited by every school in the country for football and basketball. And an incident happened in high school and all that was taken away. No other teams, no other schools were recruiting me anymore. My mom went to Georgetown and begged him to give me a chance. And he did."



Follow AJ Neuharth-Keusch on Twitter @tweetAJNK

PHOTOS | Allen Iverson through the years


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