Some people might think that a professional basketball player’s life in the limelight ends the moment he blows his knee out one too many times, or maybe when he’s too old to compete anymore with younger guys on the court. At the Basketball Goal Store, we know there are stories to share about these athletes:
Those who think a retired basketball player might just be all washed up and ready to live life as a yawn don’t know the story of one of the NBA’s favorites, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Born April 16, 1947 in Manhattan as an only child, Abdul-Jabbar entered the world at a whopping 12 lbs. 10 ounces. To match that astounding birth weight, he was 22 and a half inches long and was named Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr., after his father.
It was no surprise that very early in life, this young man gravitated toward a basketball court. As a high school basketball star, he took the team to repeated victories. In the late 1960s, he converted to Islam, changed his name from Ferdinand to Kareem and began to gain fame as a basketball force few other athletes could match.
Once drafted by the NBA, Abdul-Jabbar, who towered above the world at 7′ 2″ tall, was NBA history in the making. He played for the Milwaukee Bucks as well as the Los Angeles Lakers. He became the NBA’s all-time highest scorer with 38,387 points and took six championships as well as six MVP awards. Crowds went wild to see Abdul-Jabbar rush toward the basket with his signature move, called a “Sky Hook.”
After retiring, this amazing athlete coached for a while and then co-authored a couple of books. When an entirely new challenge revealed itself, Abdul-Jabbar happily embraced it. Soon after 2012 was celebrated, U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, appointed Abdul-Jabbar as a cultural ambassador. He will now travel the globe to promote diplomacy among youth.
Legendary athletes on the basketball court continue to be leaders even after they sink their last basket in an NBA game. You never know how far you may go from playing a game under your Goalrilla Basketball Goal on your home court. The sky really is the limit!
-Pat of the Basketball Goal Store Blog Team