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Erving Makes Plea for Missing Son

June 13, 2000

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) _ Basketball great Julius Erving made a nationally televised plea Tuesday to help find his 19-year-old son who has been declared ``missing and endangered.″

A $25,000 reward was offered for the safe return of Cory Marvin Erving, who was last seen by his family May 28. The son has a learning disability and history of drug abuse.

``This bad dream has gone on for 16 days now ... 16 bad days,″ Julius Erving said. ``We are in dire need of help.″

The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office said Cory Erving was considered ``endangered″ because his whereabouts are unknown, and that description does not imply physical or mental impairment.

But Julius Erving said his son ``was born with a learning disability. Since eighth grade he has been in special classes to deal with the disability ... it’s a mild form of dyslexia.″

He also said his son has had drug problems since he was 14.

``We have to tease him about all the diplomas he’s garnered from drug and rehab centers. ... He has about 5 or 6 of them,″ the father said in a subdued voice.

``Our family has always communicated closely,″ he said at a news conference. ``There has never been one time when there has ever been a lack of communication in our family. ... For Cory to be out of the circle brings about great concern.″

In July 1998, Cory Erving and his older brother, Cheo Erving, were charged with possessing a crack pipe and burglarizing a car in nearby Altamonte Springs.

``Cory’s family has been working with the sheriff’s office in the hopes of locating him,″ department spokesman Steve Olson said. ``The search has now been expanded as Cory’s information is being distributed to law enforcement across the nation.″

Julius Erving, a Hall of Famer and former NBA MVP, is the executive vice president of the Orlando Magic.

Last year, Erving acknowledged he is the father of tennis player Alexandra Stevenson, whose mother, sports writer Samantha Stevenson, raised her as a single parent. Last summer, Alexandra Stevenson became only the second qualifier to reach the semifinals at Wimbledon.

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