Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is Coming to the U of A's Walton Arena

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was one of the all-time great college basketball players, but he has never set foot in the University of Arkansas’ Bud Walton Arena.

That will change at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 8, when he visits Walton Arena as the latest speaker in the student-sponsored Distinguished Lecture Series. The event is free, open to the public and no tickets are needed.

The arena’s south entrance doors open at 6 p.m.

Abdul-Jabbar is most widely known for his basketball career — and his signature “skyhook” shot — first as a college star at UCLA from 1967-69, and then for 20 years in the NBA, playing for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. He retired in 1989 as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, a record that stands today.

But his accomplishments did not end when he stepped away from basketball. As he has said of himself: “I can do more than stuff a ball through a hoop; my greatest asset is my mind.”

Abdul-Jabbar has proved that statement throughout a very active retirement: appearing in movies and television; writing or co-writing several books; speaking out and writing a regular column for Time magazine on a variety of social issues; and developing the Skyhook Foundation to bring educational opportunities to children in under-served communities through innovative STEM programs. He most recently published Becoming Kareem: Growing Up on and off the Court, a memoir for young readers.

In 2016 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
University Relations
479-575-3583, voorhies@uark.edu


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