Originally created 11/17/06

Iverson to lend hand

SEATTLE - Allen Iverson will pay for the funeral of a man who died three years after he was shot in southwest Philadelphia because he refused to hand over his Iverson jersey to a group of teens.

Iverson says he's tired of reading about murders in Philadelphia, and wanted to do something.

"I don't think one guy can do what needs to be done, but I think one guy can help," Iverson said before Wednesday night's game in Seattle. "I think it's going to take a collective effort. and there is a lot of good people trying to help the situation in Philadelphia."

Kevin Johnson died Tuesday morning after his family chose to take him off life support. He was 22.

On June 24, 2003, a group of teens approached Johnson while he was waiting for a trolley and demanded he give up the Iverson jersey he was wearing. When he refused, Johnson was shot in the back of the neck by Robert Ferguson, who is serving a prison sentence on attempted murder charges.

The shooting left Johnson paralyzed, in a wheelchair and eventually on a ventilator.

Last week, the ventilator failed, and Johnson suffered irreparable brain damage. The family chose to take him off it.


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