Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, born on April 16, 1947 in New York City, is considered one of the greatest basketball players to ever play the game, achieving numerous accolades and successes on and off the court. Abdul-Jabbar began his winning ways early by leading his high school, Power Memorial Academy, to three straight championships, a 71 game winning streak, and a 79-2 record during his career at the school.
After this exceptional display of his basketball talent, Abdul-Jabbar was sought after by many of the top basketball colleges in the country. He decided to attend UCLA to play for legendary coach John Wooden and his Bruins. He did not disappoint the team, and continued to dominate his competition much like he did in high school.
The Bruins won the NCAA tournament three years in a row with Abdul-Jabbar anchoring the center position. He was so dominant that upon entering UCLA, the freshman team he was on beat the varsity squad by 15 points. Abdul-Jabbar's time at UCLA not only shaped his talents as a basketball player, but as a conscious activist and refined individual. He made a stand for the civil rights movement by boycotting the Summer Olympics of 1968.
The end of Abdul-Jabbar's career at UCLA served as the beginning to a wildly successful career in the NBA. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks and immediately made a strong impact, winning the rookie of the year award while ranking first in scoring and third in rebounding respectively. The following year, with the addition of another NBA legend named Oscar Robertson, the Bucks won the championship and Abdul-Jabbar won his first MVP award.
In 1975, Abdul-Jabbar was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he made his legacy as a part of the famous 'Showtime' Lakers teams of the eighties. His career stands as a road map for greatness in the NBA, with six championship rings, six MVP awards, and nineteen all star appearances to his name.
Life after the NBA has been just as exciting and new for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as his playing days. The education that he received at UCLA is being put to use now that the athleticism he had is fading. Abdul-Jabbar has written seven books with high levels of success. The education he received has allowed him to be a force in the intellectual community nearly as much as he was in the paint.
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