Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the National Basketball Association's (NBA) all-time leading scorer, a best-selling author and historian, will speak at University of the Pacific as part of the 2013 Black History Month Celebration.

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Arts and Culture

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Speak at Pacific

Dec 5, 2012

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the National Basketball Association's (NBA) all-time leading scorer, a best-selling author and historian, will speak at University of the Pacific as part of the 2013 Black History Month Celebration. He will discuss lessons he learned as a professional athlete, his accomplishments since he retired from playing basketball and his love of history which inspired his latest book, "What Color is My World?  The Lost History of African-American inventors."

The event will be held in the Faye Spanos Concert Hall on Tuesday, February 26, at 7 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public.

"Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is an American icon who has demonstrated that through hard work and determination, anything is possible," said Randall Ogans, Co-chair of Pacific's Black History Month committee. "He is an amazing athlete and role model to people all over the world.  He has dedicated his life to learning and writing about history, promoting literacy and celebrating cultural diversity. "

Abdul-Jabbar is best known as a basketball player for the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers, having played professional basketball from 1969 to 1989. During that time, he played in 1,560 games, the second highest ever in the NBA's history.  He remains the NBA's all-time leading scorer with a total of 38,387 points. During his career, he won six NBA Championships, was selected most valuable player six times, was selected on the All-NBA team 10 times and was named an NBA All-Star 19 times. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995. On Nov. 16th, 2012, a 16-foot bronze statue of Abdul-Jabbar was unveiled in front of the Staples Center, home of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Off the court, Abdul-Jabbar has appeared in both films and television and has written several best-selling books. On the big screen, he has appeared in numerous classic films, including the comedies "Airplane!" and "Fletch," as well as the iconic Bruce Lee film, "Game of Death." He has made numerous appearances on television shows over the last 40 years including Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and New Girl. His latest book, "What Color is My World? The Lost History of African-American Inventors," tells the story of fictional siblings Ella and Herbie and what they learn from eccentric handyman Mr. Mital about important inventions by African-Americans throughout history. 

Kareem Abdul Jabbar, a New York Times best-selling author, who has written seven books is also a well-known jazz afficiondo. Abdul-Jabbar first book, 1983's autobiographical "Giant Steps," took its title from the classic John Coltrane album of the same name. He also co-wrote "Brothers in Arms: the Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion" about the history of an all-Black armored tank battalion that served with distinction during World War II while helping to liberate three Jewish Concentration Camps.  Last year, his sixth book is "On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey through the Harlem Renaissance," was made into a documentary film. 

Currently he has a middle grade basketball series in development with Disney/Hyperion about a group of kids who play pick-up basketball, due out in September 2013 and serves as California's STEM Afterschool Ambassador as well as a Cultural Ambassador for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Abdul-Jabbar is the second major speaker for Pacific's 2013 Black History Month Celebration. The University previously announced that Grammy Award-winning singer Anthony Hamilton would lecture and perform on Feb. 7 at the Bob Hope Theatre. The celebration also will include a poetry reading from Nathaniel Mackey and a Gospel concert. For more information about Pacific's Black History Month Celebration, visit http://go.pacific.edu/BlackHistory