Basketball legend and author Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will come to McLennan Community College Oct. 15 to speak in The Highlands gym as part of MCC’s Distinguished Lecture Series in an event titled “Finding Your Inner All-Star With Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.” The lecture is free and open to the public, but tickets are required for admission.
Abdul-Jabbar, 72, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, played 20 years as center for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers before retiring in 1989 at age 42 as one of the NBA’s dominant players.
He holds the NBA’s all-time leading scorer title with 38,387 points, won six NBA championships and is the NBA’s only six-time Most Valuable Player. He averaged 24.6 points per game and 11.2 rebounds per game for his career.
In 2016, sports network ESPN chose him as the second best player in NBA history behind Michael Jordan. During his college years with the University of California at Los Angeles, Abdul-Jabbar, then known as Lew Alcindor, won three NCAA national championships.
Active in his retirement from sports, Abdul-Jabbar has written 14 books, beginning with his 1983 autobiography “Giant Steps” and including “Coach Wooden and Me,” about his friendship with UCLA coach John Wooden; “On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance,” co-written with Raymond Obstfeld; and “Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, World War II’s Forgotten Heroes,” with Anthony Walton.
He has also written a children’s book “Becoming Kareem” and is a contributor to national and international publications, writing on subjects including sports, race and religion.
The New York City native also has performed periodically in film and television over the years and co-wrote the 2011 documentary “On The Shoulders Of Giants” about the all-black professional basketball team the New York Renaissance.
He served as a United States cultural ambassador in 2012 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 2016. Abdul-Jabbar also heads his Skyhook Foundation, named after his signature basketball shooting move, which brings educational science, technology, engineering and math opportunities to underserved communities through outdoor environmental learning.
Tickets are free for the event in October but are required for seating purposes. Tickets become available at midnight Aug. 30 at https://kareematmclennan. eventbrite.com.
Abdul-Jabbar will sign copies of his books after his lecture, with books for sale in The Highlands’ lobby.