HoopLight Highlight - Doctor J's Basketball Career Games...

What's up HoopLight Fam!

Did you know that Julius Erving, aka Doctor J, was the first NBA superstar to be recognized outside of the game of basketball?

He's a man that changed the game of basketball forever and put on some amazing basketball career games!

They say he was Michael Jordan before there was a Michael Jordan!

This dude seriously loves his basketball and the story of how he fell in love with the game is pretty unique.


The basketball legend, Julius Erving, began to develop his love for game of basketball at a place in Long island, NY, called Campbell Park.

It was there that him and his younger brother Marvin would play for countless hours, on a basketball court under the water tower.

Even when he wasn't playing, he lived across the street and had a direct view of the court, so he could always scout out when the other kids were playing and come join.

It took a lot to stop him and his brother from playing basketball. 

Even when it would snow, they'd shovel the snow and continue playing the game they loved.

And Julius had another reason for loving the game.

It gave him peace amidst a very tough childhood. 

A childhood where his parents got divorced when he was 3, and father died when he was 9, in a fatal car crash.

He was also challenged with taking care of his younger brother Marvin, who was susceptible to sickness and had asthma. 

Despite all these hardships in his youth, Julius' love for the game helped him have some stability and peace of mind.

One day, the rain was coming down hard, so Julius and his friend Archie went to go look for an indoor court.

They came across the Salvation army, where they met Coach Don Ryan.

Coach Don let them play on the team even though they would be the only two black players there.

In a time of social unrest in 1962 with blacks and whites divided, this was a unique situation.

Julius didn't mind though.

He was 12 at the time, and didn't see black or white, only a love for the game of basketball.

Fast forward a bit to High School...

And Dr. J would be born. 

It was his friend, Leon Saunders who would do the honors of anointing Julius with his new nickname.

'The doctor' was born out an argument over an out of bounds call that Leon was certain about and would be happy to argue.

Julius said 'what are you Leon some kind of professor?' to which Leon retorted 'O who do you think you are, some kind of Doctor'?

And that's how it happened Haha.

'Doctor J' didn't stick for real though, until Julius played at Rucker park years later.

Rucker park is one of the most famous outdoor courts in the entire world and when Dr. J played there he drew the largest crowds anyone had ever seen!

People would watch from the nearby trees and from on top of the school closeby. 

It was insane!

He'd jump so high it seemed like he'd hang there!

He also had such a unique and graceful style in the air, watching him was new reason for anyone to fall in love with the game.

A lot of the kids looked up to him, and even before he was in the NBA he was a well-known superstar dazzling crowds during his basketball career games.

It was during a game that an announcer was trying to give Julius some nicknames, but Julius didn't like any of them.

So he came over to correct him and say 'No none of those will work, call me Dr. J'

And the name stuck from then on!

There's a bunch more to the story, but I gotta run!

I'll probably share more on the Dr. J story in a future email.

By the way, we're actually trying to get HoopLight into Rucker park.

It'll take a while, but we're confident we can do it because we've had success with another famous court over in - Venice Beach, and they should be getting setup tomorrow for their Kids Venice Basketball League Event - we're so excited!

Once crowds experience HoopLight there, we may go out of stock in a flash.

So For the Love of Basketball!

If you haven't already, get your HoopLight now before we need to restock! :)

Well, you've been made aware.

The rest is up to you!

Until Next Time,

Joey Erlic

joey hooplight