As the debate over the greatest player in NBA history rages on, an oft-forgotten name is legendary Los Angeles Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He resides as the league’s all-time leading scorer and won six titles, five of which came with the Lakers.
In addition to his championships, Abdul-Jabbar collected several mementos over a historic 20-year career. Several of those items were retained by Abdul-Jabbar for his memorabilia collection, but now he’s making them available for purchase.
Abdul-Jabbar is auctioning four of five Lakers championship rings, his 1975-76 MVP Award also won with L.A. and various trophies from his collegiate days at UCLA. The auction is being hosted by GoldinAuctions.com.
Abdul-Jabbar putting the memorabilia up for auction is not a result of personal financial hardship but rather a means to help support his Skyhook Foundation, per Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:
“One of the reasons I’m here is to mention my auction,” Abdul-Jabbar said after a news conference announcing this year’s Basketball Hall of Fame finalists. “I have a charity where we send kids to camp to learn about STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Math]. I’m gonna auction off all my stuff.
“I can’t afford to pay all the rental fees and insurance. I’m just tired of it. It can help me support my foundation. … A significant portion of the proceeds will go to help me help the kids learn about STEM education. That’s one of the main reasons I’m here, to get some support from my friends in the NBA.”
The mission of Abdul-Jabbar’s foundation is to “Give Kids a Shot that Can’t be Blocked” by delivering educational STEM opportunities to underserved communities. Its flagship Camp Skyhook program is an immersive, hands-on experience that brings together learning in outdoor environments for fourth- and fifth-graders to inspire them in a future of STEM education (science, technology, engineering & mathematics).
The program is sponsored by the Skyhook Foundation in collaboration with the Los Angeles Unified School District and the curriculum was developed by UCLA and NASA.
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