Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Bio of a Retired NBA Player and Coach

This post is about the biography of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a retired professional basketball player with great history.


  • Born in Harlem, New York, USA, on April 16, 1947
  • An alumnus of UCLA, Los Angeles
  • Divorced since 1978, and has five kids with three different women
  • Started his basketball playing career started in 1969 and ended in 1989, while his coaching career lasted from 1998 to 2011
  • Height of 7′ 2″ and weight of 102 kg

Join us as we explore his early life, educational background, and NBA career.

Who Is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, whose name at birth was Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr., is a retired NBA player and coach. His retirement marked the end of an era for the professional basketball league.

Personal Life (Early/recent)

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is an American born in Harlem, New York City. He is the only child of his parents. His father, Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Sr., worked as a jazz musician and transit police officer, while his mother, Cora Lillian, was a department store price checker. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wasn’t a Muslim at birth. He converted to Islam at age 24, which made him adopt his current name.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar NBA Player

He grew up quite faster than his age. For instance, he was 57 cm long and weighed 5.75 kg at birth. Besides, he was 5′ 8″ tall at age nine. When he was 13 years old, he could already slam dunk a basketball, standing tall at 6′ 8″.

Kareem was depressed during childhood as people always stared at him and commented about his height. He is currently 7′ 2″ tall and weighs 102 kg.

He attended high school at Power Memorial Academy (class of 1965) in New York City.

At this time, he was called Lew Alcindor while playing basketball for his high school team. Then, he led their team to win 71 times consecutively.

Kareem enrolled at UCLA in 1966 and graduated in 1969. During his university days, he was part of the 2019/20 UCLA Bruins men’s basketball team. He won three consecutive national championships. Until now, he holds and maintains several records, which include the highest career scoring average. He also has the most career field goals.

He met his ex-wife, Habiba, at a Lakers game during his final year at UCLA, USA. They eventually married on May 28, 1971, and had three children: Habiba, Sultana, and Kareem Jr. However, they separated in 1973 and divorced in 1978, as Kareem had difficulty settling into family life. He later had two sons (Amir and Adam) with different women.

About His Basketball Playing and Coaching Career

Kareem started his basketball career while attending Power Memorial Academy (PAM). He has already broken multiple records before becoming a professional basketball player.

He was a basketball player for Milwaukee Bucks from 1969 to 1975. That same year, he started playing with the Los Angeles Lakers until 1989, when he retired.

As of his retirement from playing basketball in 1989, he was the NBA’s scoring leader (with 38,387 points). His career ended after playing 1,560 games, which lasted 57,446 minutes. Out of these games, he attempted 28,307 field goals, of which he scored 15,837. He also has a record of 4,657 personal fouls.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar standing tall

Afterward, Kareem became an assistant coach at Alchesay High School, Whiteriver, Arizona, until 1999. He was also an assistant basketball coach for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2000. His coaching career progressed, and he became a coach for Oklahoma Storm in 2002.

He finally retired after becoming an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2011. That same year, he got the Double Helix Medal for his awareness of cancer research. He was also conferred an honorary degree from the New York Institute of Technology in 2011.

In addition, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.

Related Post: Uriel BBNaija – Biography, Personal Life and Career.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a proven track record as a professional basketball player and was an all-time leader in points when he retired. Moreover, he is still the all-time leader in terms of minutes played and field goals. His career story has inspired many upcoming basketball players; even some famous NBA players look up to him.

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