Allen Iverson Trial Virginia?

The 1993 trial of Allen Iverson in Virginia, then a teenage basketball star, divided the Newport News and Hampton, Virginia communities along racial lines. Sports documentary filmmaker Steve James, who is white, grew up there and returned to make the film, discovering that tensions still run high when he brings up the black athlete's name.

The documentary film "No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson" is set to air at 8 tonight, April 13, on ESPN. Directed by Hampton native Steve James, the film is bound to be a fascinating look at a memorable moment in local history.

"No Crossover" focuses on the seminal moment in the life of a man "who made it through that small crack called opportunity," as former coach Butch Harper says. James examines that formative event, probing how it made Iverson the man onto whom fans project so many sensational and sinister qualities.

Why was Allen Iverson taken to trial? What did he do in Virginia to go to jail? Can someone explain it to me?

asked by Peace in Basketball | 6000 views | 04-14-2010 at 02:27 AM

Iverson did not cooperate with the documentary and is currently on leave from the Sixers. He has had other trouble with the law over the years. Last summer at his Crossover basketball camp for kids in Newport News, he teared up after a boy thanked him for a scholarship.

Allen Iverson's trial in Virginia happened because of this.

In February of 1993, Allen Iverson, three of his friends, Simmons, Wynn, and Stephens, were involved in a fight at a bowling alley in Hampton, Virginia. Iverson and his friends were charged with "Maiming By Mob" and went to jail. Stephens got bailed out, so that left Iverson, Simmons, and Wynn behind bars. The community came together to support the young men and formed an organization called SWIS, using the first letter of each of their last names. Under the valiant leadership, and indomitable spirit of Rev. Dr. Marcellus L. Harris, Jr. and others, they rallied and marched to shed light on an incident they believed to be racially motivated. The incident created quite a stir in the Hampton/Newport News, and surrounding areas of the Peninsula.

Most everybody does know this. At the same time, though, much remains unknown about Iverson. The questions and assumptions he provokes are at the center of No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson, premiering 13 April in ESPN’s 30 for 30 series. As the film presents it, this trial is simultaneously specific—held in 1993, in Hampton, Virginia, where the “high school phenom” lived—and relentlessly metaphorical, reminding everybody of what they know and what they’d like to forget.

"No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson," examines the events that followed the 1993 bowling alley brawl that landed famed basketball great Allen Iverson, then the nation's top high-school basketball player, in jail and divided his small-town community along racial lines. Iverson, who was 17 at the time, was convicted as an adult on the felony charge of "maiming by mob," an obscure Virginia statute that was originally intended to prosecute the crime of lynching.

Now, 17 years later, ESPN’s documentary looks at the event and how it affected Iverson and the local community.
Shaun Brown, a candidate for Newport News City Council, helped raise money for Iverson’s legal defense fund and appears in the documentary.

At age 34 -- 17 years, 11 All-Star Games and untold millions removed from his arrest -- Iverson remains similarly elusive. After an ill-fated three-game stint with the Memphis Grizzlies, an abrupt retirement and almost immediate comeback with the Philadelphia 76ers, a tearful Iverson said, "With the mistakes I've made in my life, I've created a picture of me that's not me."

answered by Steven | 04-14-2010 at 02:33 AM

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