Born April 16th to Cora and Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor in Harlem,
New York. At 12 pounds, 11 ounces, his large size was no surprise
with his father standing 6’3” and mother at 5’10”.
Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Sr., a New York City police officer,
moved his family to a better neighborhood in Manhattan.
Attempted his first hook shot. Although he missed, it felt
natural for the 5’8” nine year-old.
He was the tallest child among his classmates, standing 6'8
as a thirteen year-old eighth grader. There were rumors that
NBA scouts were already beginning to take notice.
Graduated from Power Memorial Academy after leading his team
to a record of 96-6, three straight New York City Catholic
Championships, and a record 71-game winning streak. He was
a High School All-American and had his choice of any school
in the land. He chose John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins.
Led the Bruins to an 88-2 record winning three consecutive
national championships, two regular season player-of-the-year
awards and three Most Outstanding Player honors for the NCAA
Turned down a $1 million offer to play for the Harlem Globetrotters.
After tying for the worst record in the NBA in their respective
conferences, the expansion Suns and Bucks flipped a coin for
the rights to draft Lew Alcindor. Phoenix called heads and
the rest is history.
Kareem earns Rookie of the Year honors and leads the Bucks
to 56 wins, a 29-game improvement over their previous season,
and 2nd place in their conference.
In his sophomore season, leads the Bucks to a franchise record
66 regular season wins, a 12-2 playoff record, their only
world championship, and his first of 6 MVP honors.
his name from Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,
which means “noble, powerful servant.”