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Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem

also called (until 1971) Lew Alcindor, byname of Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr.

(born April 16, 1947, New York, N.Y., U.S.) collegiate and professional basketball player, who as a 7-foot 1 3/8-inch centre dominated the game throughout the 1970s and early '80s.

Alcindor played for Power Memorial Academy (at 6 feet 8 inches) on the varsity for four years, and his total of 2,067 points set a New York City high school record. He entered the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1965 and set a UCLA scoring record with 56 points in his first game. He helped lead UCLA to three National Collegiate Athletic Association championships (1966–68), and during his stay at UCLA the team lost only two games.

Alcindor joined the National Basketball Association (NBA) Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 and was rookie of the year in 1970. In 1971 the Bucks won the NBA championship, and Alcindor led in scoring (2,596 points) and game point average (31.7); he also led in these statistics in 1972 (2,822 points; 34.8). In 1971 Alcindor, who had converted to Islam while at UCLA, took his Arabic name. In 1975 he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, who won the NBA championship in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, and 1988. In 1984 he surpassed Wilt Chamberlain's career scoring total of 31,419 points. Abdul-Jabbar retired at the end of the 1988–89 season, having been voted Most Valuable Player a record six times. By the end of his extraordinarily long career, he had set NBA records for most points (38,387), most field goals made (15,837), and most minutes played (57,446). He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.

In 1996, Abdul-Jabbar published Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African American Achievement (with Alan Steinberg), a collection of biographies.

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