James Ervin Staggs, also known as “Erv,” advocated for people with drug and alcohol addictions and ex-offenders.
Staggs died Sunday, Dec. 29, 2012. He was 64.
He was born Sept. 1, 1948, to the late Hettie Burgess-Staggs and Edward Staggs Sr. in Philadelphia. He was educated in the Philadelphia public school system and received his high school diploma from Thomas Edison High School in 1996. As a skillful athlete, Staggs gained recognition as a High School All-American and Philadelphia Player of the Year. After graduation he attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and Cheyney University.
In 1969, Staggs was drafted into the American Basketball Association to play with the Miami Floridians. He played with the team during the 1969–1970 season. He also played for the New Orleans Buccaneers and San Diego Conquistadors.
After his career in the ABA, Staggs met and married his wife of 37 years, Sharlene Grisby.
He joined the church at an early age. He was a member of World’s Harvest Christian and Ray Hope Outreach Ministries, Inc.
Staggs was always an advocate for people with drug and alcohol addictions throughout his professional career. He was employed by Eagleville Drug and Alcohol Center, Elywn; Diagnostic Rehab Center, Men’s Shelter on Ridge Avenue and Fishers of Men.
In addition to his professional career, Staggs remained tied closely to his passion for basketball. In 2002, he began his own basketball league titled Philly Ball. The purpose of this league was to enhance lives through sports.
“Erv was compassionate, loving, an encourager and a motivator,” his family said.
“He was always full of laughter and chose to find the good in everyone.”
In addition to his parents, Staggs was preceded in death by his brother, James Staggs.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sons, Ervin Staggs Jr. and Sharif Staggs; daughter, Tanisha Staggs; grandchildren, Ameer Staggs, Aaron Staggs, Soleil La’Jour Staggs and Breanna Staggs; sister, Dorothy Riddick (Haywood); brothers, Edward Staggs Jr. and Melvin Staggs (Geraline); and other relatives and friends.