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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar named State Department cultural ambassador

January 18, 2012 | 11:26 am


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is about to embark on something possibly more far-reaching than even his legendary skyhook.

The U.S. State Department has announced that the NBA's all-time leading scorer has been enlisted to serve as a global cultural ambassador and help with diplomatic efforts. That begins Sunday, Jan. 22, when Abdul-Jabbar plans to travel to Brazil to speak on a number of events mostly centering on education.

Abdul-Jabbar, who won five of his six NBA championships with the Lakers, has showed strong interest in world affairs. He released a documentary this year titled "On the Shoulders of Giants," which focuses on the Harlem Rens (short for the New York Renaissance) and their effect on the sport and society as the first professional black basketball team. Abdul-Jabbar is the author of seven books, mostly on African American history. And this past summer, he was honored for his efforts on his documentary with a Lincoln Medal at the Ford's Theatre Society annual gala.


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's 'On the Shoulders of Giants' celebrates the Harlem Rens

— Mark Medina

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Photo: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to discuss his new role as a global cultural ambassador. Credit: State Department.