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Special Event

Julius Erving Holds News Conference on Search for his Son

Aired June 13, 2000 - 11:09 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We take you live to Florida. Dr. Julius Erving, the basketball hall-of-famer, turns out there is news that his son is missing, let's listen in for details.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... 67-LFE. We have that on our broadcast sheet for you. Since that time we have had no credible witnesses that has gleaned information concerning his whereabouts. We have been as thorough as possible to locate him through a variety of different investigative processes, including and not limiting to: networking with law enforcement community throughout the state of Florida.

We have broadcast the state and national lookouts for Cory and his vehicle. We have canvassed the areas within Central Florida which we believe he has frequented. We have exhausted many leads, the family has been extremely cooperative. And now we'd like to expand our search and get other members of our community actively involved in this.

We have established a 1-888 number, and that is 888-609-2529. Again, that will be conveyed to you in the press release.

I'd like to introduce to you Cory's father, Julius Erving.

JULIUS ERVING, SR. VICE PRES., RDV SPORTS: Thank you, Don.

Good morning.

You guys going to come up, please?

I wish I could say that, you know, I was here because we were, you know, announcing that we had Tim Duncan or Grant Hill behind the door over there. Unfortunately, that's not the circumstance, and there's never been a circumstance like this in my life or in my family's life. So it's a new area. And some things about it I am familiar with, and that's in terms of talking to the media, talking to the public and having my family by my side in support of the things that I say because I say them for us.

The focus today, as Don Essinger (ph) was able to share with you, is on the situation that has occurred in our lives in the last 16 days. Our son, Cory -- my wife and my son, Cory, and Jaywin Jay's (ph) brother, Jasmine's brother is unaccounted for. And I want to tell you a little bit about our family before I talk a little bit about Cory because, you know, I've been married to Turquoise for 26 years, and in the 26-year period, our family has always communicated one to the other in some way, shape or form -- phone, fax, mail, sending up smoke clouds, whatever -- every day of all those years. There's never been a time in which we haven't had some form of communication between one and the other. And for Cory to be out of that circle for this period of time brings about, as you would imagine, great concern, great anxiety, and a real test of faith.

Now, our family has been blessed beyond any expectation that we might have had when my wife and I were growing up, and we've counted those blessings many times. And we've tried to be good servants in terms of not only acknowledging those blessings, but acting on behalf of community in terms of service, in terms of giving, in terms of philanthropy, in terms of trying to inspire others and provide hope for others. It's been a part of the culture of our family.

And now we're in a crisis situation where we need the help of the media and the public. And speaking for myself, I mean, I have felt that throughout the 30 years that I've been involved in public life as an athlete, I probably have more than anyone, anyone that I know, you know, been overly accommodating and above and beyond the call of duty with respect to dealing with the media.

You know, our faith is strong and our hope is there, and, you know, we are in dire need of help, and this press conference is about making a plea to expand the network, you know, that we're already involved in -- friends and associates and relatives, and, of course, law enforcement -- in terms of trying to find our son.

It's hard. People all across America, you know, are experiencing this situation. Until it happens to you, you're really not fully conscious of what others are going through. But even those who aren't experiencing it, who have had a child or a loved one unaccounted for for even a matter of hours, knows that that's an individual's worst nightmare. And this bad dream has gone on with us for 16 days now -- 16 very hard days.

Let me tell you a little bit about Cory, because Cory's a special child. And in growing up, Cory was born with a learning disability. And through 8th grade, you know, he had to be put in special schools to deal with the learning disability -- small classrooms. It's his mild form of dyslexia and Attention Deficit Disorder.

And, you know, he always wanted to be in mainstream schools, and it wasn't until after 8th grade that he first got involved in a mainstream school system, and he was approximately 14 years old at time. So the last five years -- because he's 19 -- you know, he's been trying to get through high school. And he's presently in a GED program at Seminole Community College and working at Panera's Bread. And, you know, we felt he was on course to have some success in a life that has been very trying, living in a shadow of a public figure like myself in a high-profile family, such as the one that we have.

As you might already know, Cory is a recovering drug and alcohol abuser. And, you know, sometimes just in support of him, you know, we have to tease him about all the diplomas that he's garnered from drug rehab centers because he's got about five or six of them. But he's a fun kid, and a funny kid. People very easily ingratiate themselves to Cory because he has that type of presence, and we miss him dearly, and so does his friends and so does our extended family. And we need help as we've never needed help before.

So, you know, my plea at this time -- and, you know, I'm begging, wishing, hoping, and I'm praying that, with the help of law enforcement and the help of people who care, and the help of the media, that we can, you know, now begin to do some things that are going to produce positive results and bring Cory back to us.

Thank you for your time.

KAGAN: We've been listening to Basketball Hall of Famer Julius Erving. A 30-year career as a professional athlete and a broadcaster, today he makes a plea on national television as a father. His 19- year-old son Cory Erving has been missing, last seen 16 days ago on May 28. Dr. J describing his family as a close-knit group that talks every day, so it's not likely -- it's not usual that they shouldn't be talking over a 16-day period. Cory Erving is 19 years old. He does have a criminal record and, as his father described, also is a recovering drug and alcohol abuser.

We will take a break right now. Anymore information, we will bring it to you here on CNN. IN THE MONEY continues after this.

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