|As an international spokesperson and role model, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has taught basketball to the world's youth, dined with dignitaries and served as an ambassador of American Goodwill. Throughout his career, he has devoted countless hours to charity. Athletes and Entertainers for Kids established "Kareem's Kids" in 1989, with the goal of motivating youth to stay in school. He also formed a program for high school athletes, which focuses on the importance of higher education and earning good grades, and has worked extensively with RP International, various literacy groups and C.A.R.E. His latest project took Kareem to the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona, where he was the volunteer coach of the reservation’s basketball team.
The countless highlights of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s basketball career are legendary. He is the only player in NBA history to have won the Most Valuable Player Award six times between 1971 and 1979. He is the first player to ever score 37,000 points in a career and is the National Basketball Association's all-time regular season scoring leader with 37,639 points, while appearing in 1,815 games. In June 1993, he became the first basketball player ever to be a recipient of the National Sports Awards presented by President Bill Clinton, and was inducted into this "Presidential Hall of Fame" along with four other athletic greats. He was named Sports Illustrated "Sportsman of the Year” in 1985 and has been featured on the cover of the magazine 27 times.
Since his retirement, Abdul-Jabbar hasn’t strayed too far from the game he loves, working for the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers. He has written several books, including 2007's On the Shoulder of Giants about the Harlem Renaissance.
In November 2009 Kareem announced that he was suffering from a rare form of leukemia, Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow that produces cancerous blood cells. Though he was diagnosis in December 2008 he says the disease hasn't significantly affected his quality of life. Kareem decided to go public in order to educate people about his disease. "I think it's possible for someone in my position to help save lives," he said.
As a keynote presenter, he shares the secrets of his success that made history on the court. He is an indispensable speaker on the importance of sustained excellence and goal-setting, and also brings valuable insight about teamwork and leadership. In an alternate program, he draws on his acclaimed book Black Profiles in Courage to explore the untold history of the nation through the achievements of African-Americans.