Lakers Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Donates Safety Goggles to UCLA

The 72-year-old gave 900 pairs of goggles to his alma mater

Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar playing for the Los Angeles Lakers in 1978.
Focus on Sport/Getty
By Evan Bleier / April 9, 2020 6:30 am

In a fitting gesture given his choice of headgear for much of his NBA career, Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has donated 900 pairs of safety goggles to his alma mater, UCLA.

Abdul-Jabbar, then named Lew Alcindor, played for UCLA from 1966-69 and won three national championships in his three seasons with the Bruins.

“I want to thank the doctors and nurses at UCLA for all that they are doing,” Abdul-Jabbar said in a YouTube video that was shared by UCLA Health. “You guys are awesome, risking your lives to help the public. I would like to do my part, so I’m going to use my influence and have my team source quality medical products such as protective eyewear goggles … You guys should have all the best equipment while you’re on the frontline. Thank you for all you do, and good luck.”

UCLA’s Dr. Eric Esrailian accepted the donation on behalf of the hospital.

“On behalf of UCLA Health, I am honored and grateful to accept the generous donation of protective goggles from our friend, the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,” Dr. Esrailian said in a statement. “We are incredibly grateful for the recent outpouring of financial support and donations of supplies during this unprecedented time.”

Abdul-Jabbar retired from the NBA in 1989 at age 42.

When he walked away from the game, no NBA player had ever scored more points, blocked more shots, won more Most Valuable Player Awards, played in more All-Star Games or logged more seasons in the league.

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