Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem


Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem
orig. (Ferdinand) Lew(is) Alcindor

born April 16, 1947, New York, N.Y., U.S.

U.S. basketball player.

During his college career at UCLA, the team lost only two games, and he led it to three national championships (1966–68). He then joined the Milwaukee Bucks; in 1975 he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Standing 7 ft 138 in. (2 m 17 cm), he was the dominant centre of his time and helped his teams to six NBA titles. By the time he retired in 1989, he had scored a record 38,387 points. He also set the record for most field goals (15,837) and most minutes played (57,446). He was voted Most Valuable Player a record six times.

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▪ American athlete
also called  (until 1971) Lew Alcindor,  byname of  Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr. 
born April 16, 1947, New York, N.Y., U.S.

      collegiate and professional basketball player, who as a 7-ft-1.75-in centre dominated the game throughout the 1970s and early '80s.

      Alcindor played for Power Memorial Academy on the varsity for four years, and his total of 2,067 points set a New York City high school record. His offensive skill was so developed coming out of high school that the collegiate basketball rules committee, fearing he would be able to score at will, made dunking illegal prior to his enrollment at the University of California (California, University of) at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1965. Despite the new rule, he set a UCLA scoring record with 56 points in his first game. Playing for coach John Wooden (Wooden, John), Alcindor helped lead UCLA to three National Collegiate Athletic Association championships (1966–68), and during his stay at UCLA the team lost only two games. The no-dunking rule was rescinded after Alcindor graduated.

      Alcindor joined the National Basketball Association (NBA) Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 and was Rookie of the Year in 1970. In 1971 the Bucks won the NBA championship, and Alcindor led in scoring (2,596 points) and game-point average (31.7); he also led in these statistics in 1972 (2,822 points; 34.8). In 1971 Alcindor, who had converted to Islam while at UCLA, took his Arabic name. In 1975 he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, who won the NBA championship in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, and 1988. In 1984 he surpassed Wilt Chamberlain's career scoring total of 31,419 points.

      Although Abdul-Jabbar lacked the physical strength of NBA centres Wilt Chamberlain (Chamberlain, Wilt) and Willis Reed (Reed, Willis), he brought an excellent shooting touch to the position and a wide range of graceful post moves, including his sweeping, nearly indefensible sky hook. He also was an outstanding passer.

      Abdul-Jabbar retired at the end of the 1988–89 season, having been voted Most Valuable Player a record six times. By the end of his extraordinarily long career, he had set NBA records for most points (38,387), most field goals made (15,837), and most minutes played (57,446). He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.

      Away from the basketball court Abdul-Jabbar pursued interests in acting and writing. He appeared on television and in a handful of films, including a memorable turn as a copilot in the comedy Airplane! (1980). His autobiography, Giant Steps, was published in 1983. In addition to his own experiences, he has written on the African American experience, including Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African American Achievement (1996; with Alan Steinberg). He also did some basketball coaching and consulting.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Abdul-Jabbar,Kareem — Ab·dul Jab·bar (ăb do͞ol jə bärʹ), Kareem. Originally Lew Alcindor. Born 1947. American basketball player. As a center for the Los Angeles Lakers (1975 1989) he became the all time leading scorer in National Basketball Association history in 1984 …   Universalium

  • Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem — orig. (Ferdinand) Lew(is) Alcindor (n. 16 abr. 1947, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.). Basquetbolista estadounidense. Durante su trayectoria como jugador universitario, de la UCLA, su equipo sólo perdió dos partidos y ganó tres campeonatos nacionales… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem —  (1947–) American basketball player; born Lew …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

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