Kareem Abdul Jabbar is a legendary American retired professional basketball player. Before his retirement, he played 20 seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks in the National Basketball Association (NBA). During his time, Kareem was one of the greatest NBA stars and was named NBA Finals MVP on two occasions. He also won the MVP Award for a record of six times. During the 1967 season, Kareem was banned from college basketball as a result of his height and total supremacy over shots. But with his current age, is Kareem Abdul Jabbar still as tall as he used to be during his NBA career? Read more about this and other interesting facts below.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s Age and Early Life
The basketball legend was born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. on the 26th of April 1947, in New York City. He is the only child of Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Sr., a jazz musician, and a transit police officer and Cora Lilian, a department store price checker. Alcindor adopted the Arabic name, Kareem Abdul Jabbar after his conversion to Islam in 1968. His parents raised him in their home in Dyckman Street, Upper Manhattan, NYC.
Jabbar’s basketball talents began to manifest during his high school days at Power Memorial Academy. He led his school’s team to a seventy-one game-winning streak, National High School Boys Basketball Championship, and also three New York City Catholic Championship. His extraordinary abilities, coupled with his magnificent height gave him the nickname, “The tower from Power”. By the time he was graduating from high school, he maintained a record of 2,067 points.
Not long after, Abdul-Jabbar enrolled at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). His joining the UCLA Freshman team in 1966 marked the beginning of his illustrious college career. For the next three seasons (1967-1969), Kareem was the main contributor to the team’s record of wins and only two losses. Among other accolades, he won the Helms Foundation Player of the Year and the USBWA College Player of the Year at UCLA. His college career ended in 1969 when he earned his degree from UCLA.
His Professional Career
Milwaukee Bucks selected Kareem Abdul Jabbar as one of the first picks of the 1969 NBA draft. In the same year, the New York Nets also selected him as one of the first picks of the American Basketball Association draft. Kareem, however, made his choice and settled with the Bucks. In his debut season with the Bucks, Kareem led them to victory in four consecutive games. As a result, he won the NBA Rookie of the year and received the Most Valuable Player (MVP) title. In the following season, he led his team to an NBA Championship title, as he was one of the league’s top scorers. He also won 3 NBA MVP Awards during his six years with the Bucks.
However, due to personal reasons, Kareem wanted a shift either to the Los Angeles Lakers or to the Knicks. Fortunately for him, the Lakers acquired him in 1975. Interestingly, he won his fourth MVP award the same year he joined the LA Lakers. He maintained a good association with the Lakers who aside from his dominance, vividly remembers him for his trademark goggles which he usually wore to avoid damages to his eyes. Kareem won his 5th MVP Award after leading the Lakers in the NBA 1976/1977 season. With him at the center, the Lakers won the All-Defence First Team once, All-NBA Second Team twice, and All-Defense Second Team once. On 28th June 1989, at the age of 42, Kareem Abdul Jabbar announced his retirement from basketball.
Life After Basketball
Following his retirement, Kareem delved into writing and acting. On the side of writing, Kareem authored his autobiography, Giant Steps and co-authored a comic titled Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook. He also makes writing contributions to Global Magazine, National Television, The Guardian, and Hollywood Reporter mainly on issues of race, culture, and religion.
Coming to acting, he featured in “My Big UCLA Moment”, the UCLA Alumni Commercial in 2007. He has also appeared in several films and TV series such as Airplane!, Fletch, Troop Beverly Hills, Martin, 21 Jump Street, Everybody Loves Raymond, Scrubs, and many others.
In September 2005, the Los Angeles Lakers appointed Kareem as their special assistant coach and since then, he has been serving in similar capacities on other NBA teams to date.
How Tall Is The NBA Legend Now?
Kareem Abdul Jabbar is extraordinarily tall right from his younger age. From birth, he weighed 12lb (5.75 kg) and was 23 inches (57 cm) long. By the time he was 9 years, Kareem was already 5 ft 8 inches (1.73) tall. During his teens, he attained a height of 6 ft 8 inches (2.03 m) and by then, he was already able to slam dunk during basketball games.
Eventually, at the age of 22, the legendary NBA star attained his full adult height of 7 ft 2 inches ( 2.18 m). However, at 72 as of 2019, Kareem must have lost a few inches of his height to age. Be that as it may, he remains an impressively tall fellow.