Abdul Kareem Jabbar

Wooster Hosting “An Evening with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar” on Sept. 19

Annual Mortensen Lecture is a visit from NBA’s all-time leading scorer and cultural commentator

5 September, 2017 by Hugh Howard

WOOSTER, Ohio – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a leading voice on today’s cultural and political topics and the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, will present The College of Wooster’s annual Peter Mortensen Lecture in a conversational format on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 7:30 p.m. The program will take place in the Scot Center’s Timken Gymnasium (1267 Beall Ave.) this year.

The event is free and open to the public, however, tickets are required for entry and are no longer available as of Sept. 14.

The conversational format, moderated by a faculty-student pairing, will feature Abdul-Jabbar discussing themes from his recent book, “Writings on the Wall – Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White.” According to the publisher, the book “uses his unique blend of erudition, street smarts, and authentic experience in essays on the country’s seemingly irreconcilable partisan divide – both racial and political, parenthood, and his own experiences as an athlete, African-American, and a Muslim.”

Following the program in Timken Gymnasium, there will be a book signing at the Wilson Governance Room of the Scot Center. Please note that Abdul-Jabbar will only sign hardcover books (no sports memorabilia).

One of the greatest basketball players ever, Abdul-Jabbar scored 38,387 points during a professional career that spanned from 1969-89. The slender 7-2 center won the NBA Most Valuable Player award six times and was a 19-time NBA All-Star, also records, and helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships during the 1980s and the Milwaukee Bucks to their only championship (1971).

Abdul-Jabbar has always been much more than a basketball legend, though. He’s been a New York Times best-selling author; a U.S. cultural ambassador, appointed as such by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012; and even an entertainer with a number of credited television and film appearances, most notably the 1980 comedy “Airplane!”

Abdul-Jabbar received the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor – from President Barack Obama in 2016. He is a contributing columnist for The Washington Post,Time magazine, and The Hollywood Reporter; the chairman of Skyhook Foundation, his foundation which strives to “Give Kids a Shot That Can’t Be Blocked” by bringing educational STEM opportunities to under-served communities; and a nationally-recognized speaker.

This event is made possible by the Peter Mortensen Endowed Lecture Fund, with additional support from the Arthur Bambridge Wyse Lectureship, the department of philosophy’s Lindner Endowment, the Center for Diversity & Inclusion, the department of Africana studies, and the department of athletics.