This day in Black History–February 22nd

Julius Irving

On this day in 1950, legendary basketball player Julius “Dr J” Erving was born.

Julius Winfield Erving II (born February 22, 1950), commonly known by the nickname Dr. J.Widely known as Dr. J, Julius Erving, an NBA legend who changed the game with his own unique playing style consisting of spins and swirls in the air, was born in Roosevelt, New York, on Feb. 22, 1950.

Erving attended the University of Massachusetts and entered the American Basketball Association in 1971 as a player for the Virginia Squires. After two seasons, he went on to play for the New York Nets until 1976 when he was picked up by the Philadelphia 76ers.

The team soon began to flourish with Erving’s presence and the team took the NBA championship in 1983. Dr. J was also an 11 time NBA all-star and a two-time NBA All-Star Game MVP in 1977 and 1983. In 1987, Erving retired from the NBA and was considered one of the greatest dunkers of all time. He has scored 30,000 points in his professional career.

In 1993, Erving was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Since retiring he has worked as a sports analyst for NBC and pursued business opportunities within the league such as holding an executive position with the Orlando Magic.

Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince

On this day February 22nd in 1989, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince won the first rap Grammy for their single “Parents Just Don’t Understand.”

“Parents Just Don’t Understand” is the second single from DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince‘s second studio album, He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper. The song won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance at the 1989 Grammy Awards, one of the two songs to do so before the award was discontinued in 1991. It peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. [1] The song was released as a single in spring 1988, referenced several times in the television show The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air and was ranked number 96 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop. The music video was featured in the 2003 film Malibu’s Most Wanted.