Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

*Los Angeles – The weekend of November 16-17, 2012 belongs to Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The legend literally hovered over the city during the statue unveiling ceremony in Chick Hearn Plaza (at Staples Center) on Friday.

Saturday, former teammates and celebrities attended the first “Roast” of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the Gold Ballroom of JW Marriott L.A.Live.Multi-talented entertainer George Lopez hosted the event with several hundred guest in attendance.

The “Roast” benefited Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Skyhook Foundation.The Skyhook Foundation founded by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,mission of the Skyhook Foundation is to raise the academic aspirations of students by connecting them with mentors who are equipped to motivate and engage under-served youth to reach their potential.

kareem abdul-jabbar statue

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar statue

By developing a deep understanding of careers outside of sports and entertainment,we excite students about the possibilities of STEM (Science,Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) careers and open a world of opportunities for their future The Skyhook Foundation “Gives Kids A Shot That Can’t Be Blocked.” For more information visit www.skyhookfoundation.org

Many sports icons and celebrity guest walked the Red Carpet prior to the dinner,roast and silent auction. The people walking the Red Carpet were John Salley, football legend Jim Brown, supermodel Kathy Ireland and her son Erik, actor Beau Bridges and his son Dillon, jazz vocalist Carmen Lundy and NBA legends A.C Green, Elgin Baylor, Kurt Rambis, Michael Cooper, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jamaal Wilkes to name a few.

Media and VIP guest were allowed a sneak preview of the unprecedented 300+ piece memorabilia exhibit that was unveiled at Staples Center spanning the entire career of the basketball icon,best selling author, humanitarian and cultural ambassador. The exhibit features never before seen photographs, one of which was a photograph of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar playing drums while jamming with boxing legend Muhammad Ali on guitar. Additional items consist of autograph boxing glove, a huge rocking chair fit for a legend, championship rings, keys to various cities,proclamations, plaques and awards from all levels of government, jersies,basketball shoes, trophies as well as a basketball rim,basketballs framing a video monitor just to name a few.You will be thrilled to view the contents of this amazing exhibit at the Staples Center.

The roast featured additional legends in attendance.Jazz legend Herbie Hancock,NBA legends Ervin “Magic” Johnson,James Worthy,Jerry West,Norm Nixon and “Dr.J-Julius Erving.Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sat in his giant Rocking chair and smile and laugh as former teammates shared fond memories and humorous tales of their playing days together to the delight of the audience gathered in the Gold Ballroom of JW Marriott L.A.Live.

The celebrity Roast served as the kick-off announcement to a national multi-city tour called the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Experience. Presented by The Skyhook Foundation and will benefit STEM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics).

Ricky Richardson is a Southern California based writer,music reviewer and photographer.Contact him via: liltampared@netzero.net.