NBA Ironman Proud to Be a Virgin Until 38

ByABC News via logo
October 29, 2002, 12:00 PM

Oct. 29 -- Basketball great A.C. Green is best known for two things. One is his ironman record of playing in 1,192 consecutive games spanning 16 seasons.

The other is inevitably, if a little disrespectfully, also called an endurance record remaining a virgin until he married earlier this year at the age of 38.

For years, Green has been an active campaigner for sexual abstinence and he practiced what he preached.

He recently celebrated his six-month wedding anniversary, and told ABCNEWS' Good Morning America that everything was worth the wait.

"It is definitely worth waiting," Green said. "When you marry the right person at the right time have you no regrets. For me, I have nothing but smiles on my face."

Even though his wait lasted decades, Green said he's found other things harder to wait for. "It was harder waiting for the NBA championship than for the marriage to take place," he said.

Green was a member of the 2000 Los Angeles Lakers championship team, starting in all six games of the finals, and a member of the Lakers' 1987 and 1988 back-to-back championship teams.

Green says a large part of his happiness stems from his bride, Veronique.

"I'm looking forward to the life I have," he said. "It wasn't just the act of getting married. It's the woman I have. Veronique is the woman of my life."

Green and his wife were friends for a long time before getting married. He says she knew about his campaign before they became romantically involved, and believed in it herself.

But, he says, he was unaware that she knew. "I was happily surprised in that," he said.

"She was encouraging. She found a man who took a stand, control himself, have discipline and more importantly have a lot of self-respect."

The Big Question

For those who ask why it's so important to remain a virgin, Green has an answer ready. "You need to have self-respect, values and a little bit of virtue in your life," he said.

"I practiced [abstinence] until marriage that was the end of the rainbow in a sense," he said. "There's always a happy ending. More importantly, you feel better about yourself."