SPORTS


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - An NBA legend

Baku, March 30, AZERTAC

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was one of the greatest basketball players to play the game at the high school, college, and professional ranks.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr., on April 16, 1947, in New York City.

His height since childhood gave him great impetus to engage in basketball. Thus, at the age of 16 the future NBA legend was invited to “C-Jude” Catholic school basketball team, as he won three consistent basketball tournaments among New York Catholic schools, thriving with 2067-point shots.

Due to his height, Abdul-Jabbar has not enlisted in military service and entered the University of California instead.

During his time at the university, Abdul-Jabbar consistently takes part at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships from 1967 to 1969.

Thanks to Abdul-Jabbar’s phenomenal performances, his team has won 3 championships in a row, as he was named the NCAA best player twice in 1967 and 1969.

It were Milwaukee Bucks, a professional basketball club based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which handed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar a professional debut in NBA in 1969.

Spending 6 seasons with the club, Abdul-Jabbar has won his first ever NBA Finals in 1971.

Converted to Islam the same year, he chose the name of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and inscribed himself in the history of basketball as one of the most successive Muslim basketball players.

In 1975, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar earned himself a move to Los Angeles Lakers, considered as the most powerful club in NBA.

He went on to win five NBA Finals with Lakers (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988) before announcing his retirement in 1989.

Abdul-Jabbar was also engaged in martial arts, taking classes of Jeet Kune Do from the world-famous actor and martial arts master Bruce Lee, also making his film debut in Bruce Lee’s “Game of Death” released in 1978.

A statue of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was unveiled in front of the Staples Center, a multi-purpose arena in Los Angeles on November 16, 2012.

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