Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

American basketball player

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr. on April 16, 1947) is an American former professional basketball player and current assistant coach. He was known as Lew Alcindor before changing his name in the fall of 1971, several years after converting to Islam. He is considered one of the greatest players of all time. He has also had numerous television and movie appearances.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Abdul-Jabbar in 2014
Personal information
Born (1947-04-16) April 16, 1947 (age 77)
New York, USA
Listed height218 cm (7 ft 2 in)
Listed weight102 kg (225 lb)
Career information
High schoolPower Memorial
(Manhattan, New York)
CollegeUCLA (1966–1969)
NBA draft1969 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the Milwaukee Bucks
Playing career1969–1989
Career history
19691975Milwaukee Bucks
19751989Los Angeles Lakers
Career highlights and awards

As assistant coach:

Career NBA statistics
Points38,387 (24.6 ppg)
Rebounds17,440 (11.2 rpg)
Blocks3,189 (2.5 bpg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Early life


Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr., was born in Harlem, New York City, on April 16, 1947. His family was not poor: his father was a graduate of the famed Juilliard School of Music in virtuoso trombone. He attended Power Memorial High School in New York.[1]



Alcindor went to college at UCLA. When he played on the freshman team, it beat the UCLA varsity team that had won two national championships. When he played on the varsity team, it won three national championships. When Alcindor was at UCLA, the NCAA did not allow the dunk, so he developed a hook shot called the skyhook. Alcindor also got a degree in history.

Professional basketball career

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with the Lakers

Alcindor was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1969 NBA Draft. He lead the league in scoring twice with the Bucks. He also won three MVP awards with them. In 1975, Abdul-Jabbar was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. He won three more MVP awards with them, as well as five championships. Abdul-Jabbar played in the NBA until 1989. When he left, he had scored 38,387 points. He was also one of the ten most accurate players, and blocked the third-most shots. Abdul-Jabbar was placed in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.

Outside of basketball


Abdul-Jabbar studied martial arts with Bruce Lee, and appears in the Lee movie The Game of Death. He is also in the movie Airplane!. Abdul-Jabbar has written several books. Some of them are on basketball, but he has also written a book about the Harlem Renaissance.[2] His book was later made into a documentary movie.[3] Abdul-Jabbar has also been an assistant coach for several NBA teams. Usually, he has helped tall players play better. Abdul-Jabbar has had leukemia since 2009. He accepted Islam after the game. He became an assistant coach after he retired.


  1. Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem (September 10, 2019). "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar". EBSCOhost – via search.ebscohost.com.
  2. Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem; Raymond Obstfeld (2007). On the shoulders of giants : my journey through the Harlem Renaissance. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4165-3488-4.
  3. "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tells Newark students a tale worth learning". New Jersey Star Ledger. February 11, 2011. Retrieved February 11, 2011.

Other websites