Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Active - 1976 - 2018  |   Born - Apr 16, 1947 in New York City, New York, United States of America  |   Genres - Sports & Recreation, Comedy, Music, Drama

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

Among his many achievements during his illustrious career in Milwaukee and Los Angeles, six-time basketball MVP Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the all-time leading scorer. In 1978, Abdul-Jabbar translated his popularity into a film career by appearing as a hulking foe to Bruce Lee in Game of Death. The ensuing battle royale between the diminutive martial arts master and the agile seven-foot hoopster remains a highlight of martial arts cinema. Other film appearances include a memorable turn as a co-pilot who tires of being mistaken for Abdul-Jabbar in 1980's Airplane. In most of his subsequent films, Abdul-Jabbar has stuck to making cameo appearances as himself; he did however have a supporting role in the television pilot for the Robert Mitchum series Jake Spanner, Private Eye in 1989, the year he retired from professional basketball. Since then, his film and television appearances as an actor have been increasingly sporadic. Abdul-Jabbar has, however, continued to use his legendary status as an example. He is a tireless worker for various philanthropic causes and has devoted a large amount of time to helping children and steering them toward getting a good education.

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Factsheet

  • • After winning 71 consecutive basketball games on his high school team in New York City, Alcindor was recruited by Jerry Norman, the assistant coach of UCLA where he played for coach John Wooden on three consecutive national championship teams and was a record tree-time MVP of the NCAA tournament. • Alcindor was drafted with the first overall pick by the one-season-old Bucks franchise in the 1969 NBA draft. • After leading the Bucks to its first NBA Championship at age 24 in 1971, he took the Muslim name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.• Using the trademark "shyhook" shot, he established himself as one of the league's top scorers.• Abdul-Jabbar played a key role in the "showtime" era of Lakers Basketball. The teams that he played for made the playoffs 18 times and got past the first round 14 times. The teams that he played for reached the NBA finals ten times.