- NAME: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
- OCCUPATION: Basketball Player
- BIRTH DATE: April 16, 1947 (Age: 66)
- EDUCATION: Power Memorial Academy, University of California-Los Angeles
- PLACE OF BIRTH: New York, New York
- Originally: Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr.
- AKA: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
- AKA: Lew Alcindor
- ZODIAC SIGN: Aries
Best Known For
Hall of Fame basketball center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA's all-time leading scorer. He won six NBA titles, five with the Los Angeles Lakers, over 20 years.
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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was born in New York City in 1947. A dominant high school basketball player, Abdul-Jabbar was recruited to play at UCLA and led the Bruins to three national titles. His dominance continued in the NBA, first for the Milwaukee Bucks, and later the Los Angeles Lakers. Abdul-Jabbar won six titles and six MVP awards, and finished as the league's all-time scorer. He retired in 1989.
"You can't win unless you learn how to lose."
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. on April 16, 1947, in New York, New York. The 7'2" retired center is widely considered one of the greatest players in NBA history, and his talent was celebrated as early as high school.
The only son of Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Sr., a New York City policeman, and his wife, Cora, Alcindor was always the tallest kid in his class. At the age of 9 he stood an impressive 5'8", and by the time he hit eighth grade, he'd grown another full foot and could already dunk a basketball.
He started playing the sport at an early age. At Power Memorial Academy, Alcindor put together a high school career few could rival. He set New York City school records in scoring and rebounds, while simultaneously leading his team to an astonishing 71 consecutive wins and three straight city titles. In 2000 the National Sports Writers dubbed Alcindor's team "The #1 High School Team of the Century."
After graduating in 1965, Alcindor enrolled at the University of California-Los Angeles. There, he continued his unprecedented dominance, becoming the college game's best player. Under legendary coach John Wooden, Alcindor led the Bruins to three national championships from 1967 to 1969 and was named the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament's Most Outstanding Player for those years.
In the spring of 1969 the Milwaukee Bucks, in only their second year of existence, selected Alcindor with the first overall pick in the NBA draft.
Alcindor quickly adjusted to the pro game. He finished second in the league in scoring and third in rebounding, and was named Rookie of the Year. He also helped dramatically change the fortunes of his franchise. Coming off a dismal 27-win season the year before, the retooled Bucks, with Alcindor manning the basket, improved to 56-26.
The following season the Bucks, having added future Hall of Fame guard Oscar Robertson to their roster, made another huge leap. The team finished the regular season 66-16 and then steamrolled through the playoffs, sweeping the Baltimore Bullets in the 1971 NBA finals. That same year Alcindor won his first Most Valuable Player award, the first of six MVP honors he received during his long career.
Shortly after the season ended, Alcindor converted to Islam and adopted the name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, which translates into "noble, powerful servant."
In 1974, Abdul-Jabbar again led the Bucks to the NBA finals, where the team lost to the Boston Celtics.
Even with all his on-the-court success as a Buck, Abdul-Jabbar struggled to find happiness off the court in his life in Milwaukee.
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