NBA Hall of Famer and all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar may have scored his biggest basket today when he was appointed the State Department's cultural ambassador. The appointment, given to Abdul-Jabbar by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, will have the NBA legend promoting the importance of education, social and racial tolerance, cultural understanding and using sports as a means of empowerment.
"It's a great honor, and I'm thrilled that they see me as the person that could get this done," he said to ABC News. "I look forward to meeting with young people all over the world and discussing ways in which we can strengthen our understanding of one another through education, through sports and through greater cultural tolerance."
Ann Stock, assistant secretary of state for education and cultural affairs, said that this appointment is part of Clinton's vision of "smart power" diplomacy to "bridge the gap in a tense world through young people."
Abdul-Jabbar's first official visit will be this weekend in Brazil. He says that Clinton told him, "In Brazil, they would be shocked to find out black Americans were so much involved inventing so many useful items that we use today."
Last year Abdul-Jabbar received the Lincoln Medal, named after President Abraham Lincoln, for his commitment to education. His latest book, What Color Is My World? The Lost History of African-American Inventors, was released earlier this month.
We wish the man who invented the sky hook all the best in his new position. After all the work he's done for communities across the country throughout the years, this is a well-deserved appointment.
Read more at the Washington Post.