Coach Wooden and Me
In 1965, 18-year old Lew Alcindor played basketball for Coach John Wooden at UCLA. It was the beginning of what was to become a 50-year long relationship. On the court, they broke basketball records. Off the court, they transcended their athletic achievements to gain even wider recognition and tremendous national respect.
Part memoir, and part inspirational, Abdul-Jabbar reveals the lessons Coach Wooden taught him through the “Pyramid of Success” and discusses how they in turn shaped his life. Through beautiful storytelling, COACH WOODEN AND ME takes you back to the basics of what a coach should be.
Presidential Medal of Freedom
“Receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom would be an honor under any circumstances, but receiving it from President Obama, who has fought so tirelessly to bring about social justice for everyone, makes it that much sweeter. I’m especially proud to be sharing this award with some of the people who have influenced my life. This acknowledgment invigorates me to continue the battle until everyone shares the great bounty of opportunity that this country has to offer. I’m hoping it will inspire others to do the same.”
His Emmy Award-winning HBO Sports documentary, Kareem: Minority of One, debuted as HBO’s most watched and highest rated sports documentary of all time.
Currently, Abdul-Jabbar serves as the chairman of his Skyhook Foundation whose mission is to “Give Kids a Shot That Can’t be Blocked” by bringing educational STEM opportunities to under-served communities through innovative outdoor environmental learning. As a NY Times best-selling author who has written 12 books, his most recent book, a memoir entitled: Coach Wooden & Me – our 50 Year Friendship was released June 2017—(Grand Central Publishing). He is also writing a series of novels and comic books entitled Mycroft Holmes an action/mystery series based on Sherlock Holmes’s savvy older brother—(Titan Publishing).
And during the NBA season, he can be seen weekly as a NBA Insider and co-host on ESPN’s The Jump.
Before leaving office President Barack Obama awarded Abdul-Jabbar The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. He also appointed Abdul-Jabbar to the Presidents Council on Sports & Fitness.
In 2017 Abdul-Jabbar, an avid numismatic coin collector, was appointed as the first African-American to the CCAC (Citizens Coin Advisory Council) in its 100 year history, where he helps decide on all coins that are to be minted in The United States.