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Presidential Honor

Published Dec 7, 2016 8:00 AM

UCLA alumnus Kareem Abdul-Jabbar received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama at the White House in November.


 

UCLA graduate and iconic basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar '69 was among 21 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom honored by President Barack Obama this year.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant endeavors.

“Physically, intellectually, spiritually, Kareem is one of a kind,” President Obama said at a ceremony honoring the recipients. “An American who illuminates both our most basic freedoms and our highest aspirations.”

Abdul-Jabbar starred on the varsity team at UCLA from 1967-69, helping lead the Bruins coached by John Wooden to three consecutive NCAA titles. Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995, he helped UCLA compile an overall record of 88-2 in three seasons and was the only player ever selected Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four three times.

A standout in the NBA, Abdul-Jabbar is the league’s all-time leading scorer, having played for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers from 1970 through 1989. He led the Lakers to five championships and the Bucks to another. Abdul-Jabbar was a six-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a 19-time All-Star.

Abdul-Jabbar is a New York Times-bestselling author, prominent Twitter presence, historian, Washington Post and Time magazine columnist, and longtime advocate for equality and justice.

To view the original article from the UCLA Newsroom visit http://ucla.in/2gflrNR.