In his heyday, Kareem Abdul Jabbar wrote his name as one of the greatest NBA stars in the history of the game. The talented player played in the middle position and spent his 20-year career between two NBA teams, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers. Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s career accomplishments can be considered legendary, as he won the NBA MVP Award six times in record time, was named NBA Finals MVP twice, and also received an unprecedented 19 NBA All-Star nominations.
The NBA veteran began his career as a coach after retiring in 1989. In addition to his illustrious NBA career as a player and coach, Kareem Abdul Jabbar also has a successful acting career. His acting career includes a role in the highly acclaimed blockbuster Monster Airplane! (1980). The NBA legend was named as one of the candidates for the 26th season of Dancing with the Stars in April 2018.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar Bio (Age)
The basketball legend was born as Ferdinand Lewis “Lew” Alcindor Jr. on April 16, 1947, in New York City. He took the Arabic name Kareem Abdul Jabbar after he converted to Islam in 1968. He was the only child of his parents Cora Lillian and Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Sr.
Lew Alcindor Jr. received his high school education at the Power Memorial Academy, where his eccentric basketball talent began to manifest itself. He led the school to a 71-game unbeaten run, a national high school boys basketball championship, and 3 consecutive New York City Catholic championships. His extraordinary abilities combined with his imposing size earned him the nickname “The Tower from Power”. Alcindor Jr. finished his high school career with a total score of 2,067 points, which is a school record.
He completed his college career at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He joined the UCLA Bruins freshman team in 1966, which marked the beginning of one of the most illustrious careers in NCAA history; he was named First All-American Team and Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament three times. Twice he won the Player of the Year award. 1968 was a revolutionary year for Alcindor Jr. when he converted to Islam and also boycotted the Summer Olympics in protest against racial discrimination against blacks in the United States. In 1969 he graduated from college with a B.A. from UCLA.
As expected, Kareem Abdul Jabbar was the first choice of the 1969 NBA draft, where he was selected by the then newly formed NBA side, Milwaukee Bucks. He was also the first candidate for the 1969 American Basketball Association draft, where he was selected by the New York Nets, but eventually, he settled for the Bucks.
In his impressive debut season with the Milwaukee Bucks, Kareem Abdul Jabbar won the NBA Rookie of the Year award after leading the team to second place in the NBA Eastern Division. He remained dominant in the following seasons as one of the league’s top scorers and led the team to the NBA Championship title in the 1970-71 season. He also won 3 NBA MVP awards during his 6 years with the Bucks. At his own request, Kareem Abdul Jabbar transferred to the Los Angeles Lakers in 1974.
During his 14-year tenure with the Lakers, the talented player won three more MVP awards (1976, 1977, and 1980), setting a record of six awards. In 1985, he also won the MVP award for the NBA Final. Kareem Abdul Jabbar announced his retirement from the game on June 28, 1989. In September 2005, he was named Special Assistant Coach of the Lakers and has served in a similar capacity for several other NBA teams.
His Family, Wife, and Children
Kareem Abdul Jabbar is currently unmarried, but the NBA legend has been married before. In the 1970s he was married to Habiba Abdul-Jabbar (née Janice Brown). The two are said to have met during the talented player’s college basketball career at a Los Angeles Lakers game. They entered into marriage on 28 May 1971 and had three children during their seven-year marriage. The union ended in divorce in 1978.
With Janice, Kareem Abdul Jabbar had three children: two daughters Habiba Abdul-Jabbar and Sultana Abdul-Jabbar, and a son, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Jr. He also welcomed his fourth child, a son named Amir Abdul-Jabbar with his former girlfriend Cheryl Pistono, whom he met in 1977. It is also known that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar fathered a third son named Adam Abdul-Kareem, whose mother is unknown to the public.
Height – How Tall Is Kareem?
From birth, Kareem Abdul Jabbar has always been significantly taller than his peers. At birth, he was 22 1/2 inches (57 cm) tall, and by the age of 9 years, he had reached a height of 173 cm. As a young teenager, he had an outstanding height of 203 cm (6 feet 8 inches), and as a result, he became dominant in his use of slam dunk.
Interestingly, slam dunk was banned for 9 years for college basketball after Kareem Abdul Jabbar achieved total dominance with the shot in the 1967 season. The legendary NBA star finally reached his full adult height of 218 cm (7 feet 2 inches) at the age of 22.