Penn State hiring Marques Hagans as wide receivers coach may just bring a prominent fan to Beaver Stadium.
While answering questions concerning his new position, Hagans revealed he holds a prior relationship with former NBA great Allen Iverson.
“AI is someone who I grew up around,” Hagans said during his introductory news conference Tuesday. “He’s a few years older than me. We all played for the same rec-league team and started off at the same high school. He’s become a big brother to me and my kids look up to him. He’s always around them, always checking in on them.
“So, to have someone like that, one of the best players to play professional basketball be from your neighborhood and you know, to be a big supporter of mine, that means a lot. So, I would say he’s a really close friend. He’s like a big brother, and he does a really good job being the uncle to my two boys as well.”
Hagans and Iverson attended Bethel High School in Hampton, Virginia. Iverson graduated six years before Hagans. Hagans transferred to rival Hampton High School prior to his junior season of football.
Iverson publicly acknowledged his relationship with Hagans’ sons by responding to a picture posted on Hagans’ Twitter account in October 2021.
— Allen Iverson (@alleniverson) October 30, 2021
Both share qualities of being Division I college players, as well as professional athletes.
Iverson finished out his tenure at Bethel. He then moved on to Georgetown University for two seasons from 1994-96. He was chosen by the Philadelphia 76ers with the first overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. His professional career went well. Iverson was an an 11-time All-Star and three-time scoring leader over 14 NBA seasons.
The 76ers retired his No. 3 March 1, 2014. Iverson joined a premier list of retired numbers alongside fellow NBA legends Moses Malone, Julius Erving and Wilt Chamberlain.
Hagans played football for the University of Virginia after a year at the Virginia-based Fork Union Military Academy. That’s the same academy that former Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg later attended.
Following his tenure at Virginia, Hagans went in the fifth round (144th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft to the St. Louis Rams. He played for the Rams for two seasons and also played for the Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins in his five-year career.
Iverson, who acquired the nickname “The Answer” during his time in the NBA, could be an answer to keeping the seats at Beaver Stadium filled in 2023.