Hall of Famer Abdul-Jabbar, 65, is the NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer, having amassed 38,387 points over a 20-year career with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers. He won six NBA championships and was league MVP a record six times, while also being selected to a record setting 19 NBA All-Star teams as well as to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. He has been named one of the 50 greatest players in the NBA. In college Abdul-Jabbar won three straight national championships at UCLA and is the only scholar/athlete in history to be voted the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament three times. He received the very first Naismith College Player of the Year Award in 1969 and has been dubbed by ESPN as “The Best Collegiate Player of the 20th Century” and “History’s Greatest Player” by Time Magazine.
Since retiring from the game, the man who perfected the “skyhook” has become a speaker, author, film-maker, educator and on January 18th, 2012 Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton appointed Abdul-Jabbar as a Global Cultural Ambassador.
As A U.S. Global Cultural Ambassador Abdul-Jabbar’s mission is to travel the world and engage underserved youth through special programs and open a dialogue which promotes American history and culture. Through his work with the Skyhook Foundation he engages filmmakers, writers and athletes to develop books and films that teach children about important figures in U.S. history.
As a 7x New York Times best-selling author with books like, Giant Steps was published in 1983 and was followed by Kareem, Black Profiles in Courage, A Season on the Reservation, Brothers in Arms: the epic story of the 761st all black tank battalion, and On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance. His latest book, What Color is My World-The Lost History of African American Inventors is being used to teach children about STEM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) in elementary schools all over the United States.
“If America is to maintain our high standard of living, we must continue to innovate,” said Abdul-Jabbar. “We are competing with nations many times our size and STEM learning represents the engines of innovation. With these engines we can lead the world, because knowledge is real power.”
Abdul-Jabbar recently adapted his book, On the Shoulders of Giants – the story of the greatest basketball team you never heard of into a critically acclaimed documentary of the same name which aired on Showtime, Time Warner and Netflix in 2012. It’s currently available in retail locations everywhere.
In 2011, President Obama honored Abdul-Jabbar at a White House reception followed by a presentation by Attorney General Eric Holder who awarded Kareem the prestigious Abraham Lincoln Medal in a special ceremony held at Ford’s Theater. The medal honors those who exemplify the character and lasting legacy of President Abraham Lincoln. Abdul-Jabbar continues his commitment to education through his Skyhook Foundation, which is committed to developing & sharing teaching programs that bridge sports and education together. Today, as he travels the world, he is a ESPN.com columnist and writes for numerous other magazines and websites.