Appreciating all that makes America special

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,

Here's the memorable sky hook, Abdul-Jabbar's signature shot. Uploaded by

When he was known as Lew Alcindor, a high school phenom leading Power Memorial to multiple state championships, America knew this young man was destined for greatness. And of course, he didn’t disappoint. When he enrolled at UCLA, he had to play on a freshman team, so he could “only” lead the Bruins to three NCAA titles. Three-time player of the year, three-time first team All-American, three-time Most Outstanding Player in the Tournament.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,

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It’s hard to remember those times, but Abdul-Jabbar (the name he adopted early in his pro career) was so dominant, that the dunk was removed from the college game for a decade. As a pro, he was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks, and led them to their first NBA title while winning the first three of his six MVP awards. He received a trade to the Lakers in 1975, and there he earned another five league championships.

I don’t have the space to list all of Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA records, but here are a few of the most impressive: All-time leading scorer…most MVP awards…and most All-Star selections (19). Of course, no column about this Renaissance man would be complete without mentioning his most important movie role – co-pilot Roger Murdock in Airplane! See it here:


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