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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Auction

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's auction for NBA memorabilia raiseds $2,947,972 for charity.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (#33) shoots his famous sky hook, as the Lakers take on the Celtics.

copyright Steve lipofsky www.Basketballphoto.com [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (#33) shoots his famous sky hook, as the Lakers take on the Celtics.

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On March 4, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar held an auction, through Goldin Auctions, for a collection of memorabilia from his NBA career. Many fans believed that the worst had befallen Kareem, and that he had run out of money. Soon, fans realized that this was no the case, and he was actually giving all of the profits to charity. He raised $2,947,972 for his own Skyhook Foundation Charity, who work to help kids in poverty.

Nicholas Rizk
Kareem couldn’t afford a basketball hoop when he was growing up. He grew up in the harsh projects of NYC, which is why he has devoted his post-NBA career to helping children in poverty.

The Skyhook Charity, created by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, is a camp for under-privileged kids. These kids spend 5 days and 4 nights learning about engineering, technology, math, and science. The money raised during Kareem’s auction will go to bettering their programs, and giving more children the opportunity to learn things that could lead to a career.

Abdul-Jabbar sold 234 items during this auction, including 3 of his 6 regular season MVP trophies. He also sold 4 of his 6 NBA Championship rings, a game-used and signed basketball, a pair of his game-worn goggles, and a variety of other things. The minimum price for the NBA memorabilia was $35,000, and the highest selling 1987 championship ring went for $398,937. Kareem had this to say after the auction, “When it comes to choosing between storing championship rings and trophies, or providing kids with an opportunity to change their lives, the choice is pretty simple: sell it all.”

Nicholas Rizk
Kareem auctioned off a signed basketball, just like the one pictured here, for $80,000.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time, and his impressive career reflects that. Throughout his 16-year career playing center for the Bucks and Lakers, Kareem won 6 NBA championships, 6 regular season MVP awards, 2 NBA Finals MVP awards, and other awards. He was also a 19-time All Star, a 2-time scoring champion, and a member of the NBA 35th and 50th Anniversary All-Time Teams. Although he played in the 70s-80s, Kareem still holds many different records in the NBA. He holds the records for the most points at 38,387, the most minutes played with 57,446, the most field goals made with 15,837, the most field goals attempted with 28,307, and the most career wins with 1,074 wins. Furthermore, Kareem revolutionized the game of basketball with his sky hook and changed how centers would play in the league. Although Kareem will go down a basketball legend, many people believe that he will instead be remembered for his actions off of the court.

I talked to fellow students at Lafayette High School about the auction and they praised Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for his work. LHS Junior Drew Ramos said, “It was very selfless of him to give up his most prized possessions in order to help others. Obviously, he realizes that the items he attained throughout his career are nothing compared to giving other people opportunities.”

Nicholas Rizk
Drew Ramos gives his opinion of the auction.

Aaron Adam, a senior at Lafayette High School, said, “I think that he should be recognized for this great act and more players should help others like this. The auction was also probably good for the Skyhook Foundation, because it gave the charity more exposure.” Junior Michael Labella added, “Kareem was an outstanding player in the NBA and has done more amazing things in his post-NBA career, I am not surprised that he did something like this.”

Many see this as Kareem’s greatest accomplishment in his post-NBA career, but he has done many great things to help people in the past. He received a double helix medal for his efforts to improve cancer research, and also was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016 by Barrack Obama. In 2017, Kareem became the first African-American on the Citizens Coin Advisory Council. He has written many books about his career and cultural ideals in the United States, and been in several movies, including Airplane. When asked about his books, Kareem responded, “I can do more than stuff a ball through a hoop; my greatest asset is my mind.” Kareem has also funded many charities to better children’s education. “Looking back on what I have done with my life, instead of gazing at the sparkle of jewels or gold plating celebrating something I did a long time ago, I’d rather look into the delighted face of a child holding their first caterpillar and think about what I’m doing in the future. That’s a history that has no price”, is how Kareem Abdul-Jabbar responded to the praise he received for his actions.

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Auction