2016 Mueller Fellow: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Basketball legend, author, columnist, cultural ambassador, and activist

          Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and a six-time NBA champion. He is also one of a handful of influential and respected black men in America who has a national platform as a regular contributing columnist for The Washington Post, Time Magazine, and other main stream media outlets, where he shares his thoughts on some of the most socially relevant and politically controversial topics facing our nation today.

          After 50 years as an athlete, activist, and New York Times bestselling author, Kareem says he wants to offer his perspective on how we can work together to solve some of these issues.  In 2012, he was appointed to be the U.S. Cultural Ambassador by then Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton. The same year he was named California’s STEM Education After-school Ambassador. The mission of Kareem’s Skyhook Foundation is to “Give Kids a Shot That Can’t be Blocked” by bringing educational opportunities to under-served communities through innovative literacy programs.

          Kareem’s most recent projects include the HBO Sports documentary, Kareem: Minority of One, which debuted in early November 2015. His debut novel Mycroft Holmes — a mystery novel and the first of an action/mystery series based on Sherlock Holmes’s savvy older brother. His 11th book, Writings on the Wall – A New Equality Beyond Black & White will be released by Time Books Inc. in August 2016.

          Having such a legend’s presence on campus was enlightening. Hearing how his childhood has inspired him to reach new heights and stay motivated with professional sports and beyond made these celebrities seem more realistic and less fantasy.