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March 11, 2008

Q & A at the American Library Association

I would like to share with you such great time  I had responding to audience questions at the ALA Midwinter Meeting President's Program, Jan. 13, 2008, speaking about my greatest basketball memory, the reason I changed my name, how to get reluctant youth to read, my new book "On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance," and more.

(video credit: ALA)


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Kareem, you are so successful, everybody pays attention to your opinions and respect your insights.
Thank you for writing this blog and for all you have accomplished in so many different fields, you are such inspiration!

Andy Jacoby

Hi Kareem:

Thank you for blogging and writing. I have two questions for you:

1. We have an interesting situation in the U.S. election with an african-american and a woman both achieving a flood of initial support. They say we can learn everything about the present by looking to history, yet this situation seems unprecedented. Can you think of any history lesson to apply to the current political circumstances?

2. Like many of your readers, when I was growing up you were my idol. Many of the athletes I looked up to as a kid in the 1980s were also writers (Giant Steps), musicians (Wayman Tisdale) and all-around excellent role models (Minnesota Viking Alan Page). These days there seems to be so many stories of athlete arrests and drug problems, and I wonder if it is only a recent media fascination with the scandalous that has created an impression that the character of our athlete role models has gone down. Do you think that today's athletes are as worthy role models as athletes in your era, or is there a trend that disturbs you?

Thanks again for taking the time to write your blog.


Andy Jacoby
New Orleans, Louisiana

sue Kamm

All the great 'Showtime" years seem to meld in my memory. I was a young adult librarian at the Cypress Park branch of Los Angeles Public Library in the '80s. My boss and I were invited to a dinner by the graduating class at the local parochial school. Their teacher was a devout Celtics fan (we thought we'd like to buy him a share of stock when it was listed ). The dinner was the night of a final game. Somewhere in my photo collection at home I have a series of shots taken as librarians, teacher, and students are gathered around, and the cheers as the Lakers won.

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Captain Kareem

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is considered by many fans and sportswriters to be the greatest basketball player of all time. The 7-foot-2 Hall of Fame center, famous for his indefensible skyhook, dominated the NBA for 20 years, first with the Milwaukee Bucks then with the Los Angeles Lakers. Before that he was the star of the UCLA Bruins teams that won three consecutive NCAA championships. Kareem was the NBA's MVP six times, a 19-time all-star and set the NBA all-time records in nine categories. He is the NBA's all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points, a record that may never be broken.

Since retiring as a player in 1989, Kareem has balanced his love of basketball with his love of history. In 2002 he led a USBL team, the Oklahoma Storm, to a championship. Since 2005, he has been the special assistant coach for the Lakers, working with Andrew Bynum.

In 2008 he was chosen The Greatest Player in College Basketball History.

Kareem also remains intellectually active, authoring six bestselling history books intended to popularize the contributions of African-Americans to American culture and history. His books include "Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African-American Achievement"; "Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's Forgotten Heroes"; "A Season on the Reservation," which chronicles his time teaching basketball and history on an Apache Indian reservation in White River, Ariz.; and the current New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller, "On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance."

His audio adaptation, "On the Shoulders of Giants: My Audio & Musical Journey through the Harlem Renaissance," is a four-volume compilation read by Bob Costas, Avery Brooks, Jesse L. Martin, and Stanley Crouch, and features private and fascinating conversations with dozens of icons, including Coach John Wooden, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Samuel L. Jackson, Maya Angelou, Quincy Jones and Billy Crystal. He has also been written to L.A. Times, under the Sports section.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been appearing on various radio stations and TV shows, as well as the most relevant websites talking about his life and his new audio book, On the Shoulders of Giants.

All images are property of www.iconomy.com unless otherwise stated. All info copyrighted and owned by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is not replicated without permission.

Come meet Kareem at the NBA Store on 5th Avenue: Friday, May 16th, from 3:15pm - 4:15pm.

Kareem_READ The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has joined the popular Celebrity READ poster series. The Celebrity READ poster campaign is one of the most effective ways to encourage people to get a good education, improve their reading skills, and to read for sheer enjoyment.
Mr. Abdul-Jabbar is the 2008 Honorary Chair Library Card Sign-up Month, which takes place in September. He will also appear at the American Library’s National Convention on June 28th and 29th at the Long Beach Convention Center to sign his poster.

To purchase Mr. Abdul-Jabbar's poster and to view the entire line of Celebrity READ Posters, please click here. now!

Kareem_jersey Join the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Fan Club
and win a chance to receive a prize from my official store !

Go to KareemAbdulJabbar.com now!

ESPN names Kareem The Greatest Player In College Basketball History

Check the latest about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Go to KareemAbdulJabbar.com for more news.
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