Check your Mail!

CNN Time Free Email US Sports Baseball Pro Football College Football 1999 NBA Playoffs College Basketball Hockey Golf Plus Tennis Soccer Motorsports Womens More Inside Game Scoreboards World
EVENTS
MLB Playoffs
Rugby World Cup
Century's Best
Swimsuit '99

CENTERS
 Fantasy Central
 Inside Game
 Multimedia Central
 Statitudes
 Your Turn
 Teams
 Cities

AD PARTNERS

  Power of Caring
  presented by CIGNA


SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
 This Week's Issue
 Previous Issues
 Special Features
 Life of Reilly
 Frank Deford
 Subscriber Services
 SI for Women

FEATURES
 Trivia Blitz
 Free Email

TELEVISION
 CNN/SI - TV
 Turner Sports

SHOPPING
 CNN/SI Travel
 Golf Pro Shop
 MLB Gear Store
 NFL Gear Store

SI FOR KIDS
 Sports Parents
 Games
 Buzz World
 Shorter Reporter

SITE RESOURCES
 About Us
 myCNN
 
1999 Wimbledon

'Dr. J' says he fathered tennis phenom

Click here for more on this story

Posted: Friday July 02, 1999 06:16 PM

  Alexandra Stevenson and Julius Erving Although he supported her financially, Julius Erving has met Alexandra Stevenson only once. Alex Livesey, Rick Stewart/Allsport

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Julius Erving said Friday he is the father of tennis phenom Alexandra Stevenson, whose run to the Wimbledon semifinals has been shadowed by reports she is the basketball great's daughter.

"I acknowledge a relationship with her mother in 1980," Erving told The Associated Press. "My wife, who has known from the beginning, and children are aware of this situation.

"All matters concerning Alexandra since her birth have been handled privately through counsel. I am pleased to see Alexandra, at 18, doing so well and I applaud her mother's efforts and courage."

Erving said he has met Alexandra Stevenson only once and that it was "her call" about whether they would renew their relationship. He said he has been supporting her financially.

"I haven't talked to her," said Erving, a vice president of the Orlando Magic. "I only met her once, and she was 3 years old. She was brought to me at a basketball clinic at a public school."

Erving and wife Turquoise have been married since 1972 and have four children.

The possibility of Erving being Stevenson's father became public this week when The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel published a copy of her birth certificate. The Basketball Hall of Famer initially denied being her father.

Erving said in his statement by telephone from Orlando, Fla., he would not make any other comments about Stevenson.

Stevenson, who lives in California, Friday became the first qualifier in Wimbledon history to reach the women's semifinals. She beat another qualifier, 16-year-old Jelena Dokic, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.

"I understand they are being besieged because she won her match today," Erving said. "Getting this statement out will help."

Stevenson graduated from high school in May and is playing her first tournament as a pro. She skipped and hopped to the net after Dokic hit a forehand long on match point.

An aspiring stage performer and ballet dancer, Stevenson curtsied theatrically to all corners of the Court 1 stadium as her mother, Samantha Stevenson, hugged her coach, Craig Kardon.

The mother has stirred Wimbledon since the start of the tournament, with accusations of racism and lesbianism on the women's tour and a dispute over prize money.

"I just focus on my tennis and let everyone else deal with all that," the daughter said before Erving made his statement. "I'm quite oblivious to most of it. I haven't been reading any newspapers, just playing tennis."

Stevenson's mother is a free-lance journalist who worked as a sports writer in Philadelphia when Erving starred there for the 76ers.

So far, the mother has refused to discuss the father of her 6-foot-1 daughter.

 
Related information
Stories
Stevenson, Lucic advance to semifinals
Report: Document lists Stevenson's father as Julius Erving
Mom of tennis phenom charges tour with racism
Multimedia
Alexandra Stevenson says the focus on her parentage hasn't affected her tennis. (89 K)
Click here for the latest audio and video
Search our site Watch CNN/SI 24 hours a day

Sports Illustrated and CNN have combined to form a 24 hour sports news and information channel. To receive CNN/SI at your home call your cable operator or DirecTV.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



To the top

Copyright © 1999 CNN/SI. A Time Warner Company.
All Rights Reserved.

Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.