Welcome to the Evolving Man Project’s ‘Evolved Man of the Week’ profiles. Each week we will highlight an individual that embodies what it means to be an evolved man, famous and non-famous men alike. The world needs to know their stories and deeds. This week’s honor goes to NBA legend, activist, actor, contributing columnist, New York Times best-selling author and cultural icon, Kareem Abdur-Jabbar.
Mr. Jabbar was born in New York City in 1947. By his eighth grade year, Kareem Abdul-Jabber already stood 6ft 8in tall and could slam dunk with ease. By the time Mr. Jabbar received his bachelors of art in history from UCLA, he’d be considered one of the greatest collegiate athletes in Bruins history. Mr. Jabbar converted to Sunni Islam in 1968 and boycotted the 1968 Summer Olympics. He did not try out for the U.S. Men’s Olympic Team due to the United States history mistreatment of Black Americans.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would go on to have a legendary NBA career that spanned over twenty years. During this time he perfected his trademark ‘skyhook’ shot, broke multiple records, and racked up many championships. He played for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers respectively. His NBA accolades include being the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, a six-time champion, and six-time Most Valuable Player.
During and after his NBA career, Kareem Abdul-Jabber his made notable contributions in film, television, as a contributing columnist, and author. He has been featured on various television shows and movies; including The Game of Death, Airplane, The Stand, In Living Color, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Living Single. He was a practitioner of martial arts and studied Jeet Kune Do under the instruction of the iconic Bruce Lee.
During the years, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has gone on to become a prolific author and contributing columnist for a diverse array of publications; such as Time, The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Hollywood Reporter. He’s written over a dozen books and is a New York Times best-selling author, which includes his latest memoir, Becoming Kareem. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has received multiple awards and honors throughout his lifetime, these include being a two-time NAACP Image award winner, being selected as the U.S. Global Ambassador in 2012, a winner of the Double Helix Medal, and a Presidental Medal of Freedom recipient.
Here is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in his own words about the power of knowledge:
“If I could pass along any lesson I’ve learned throughout my career, it would be that knowledge is power. We have to understand some things if we want to change things…I’m inspired by the fact that I see young people thirsting for knowledge. Helping them get an idea of how to achieve that knowledge and gather that knowledge, that inspires me. If I can help some people do that then I feel good.”
Today we honor Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has our Evolved Man of the Week.