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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar expected to make a full recovery

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Legendary Lakers center and NBA Hall-of-Famer Kareem
Abdul-Jabbar underwent quadruple coronary-bypass surgery at Ronald Reagan
UCLA Medical Center, but is expected to make a full recovery, hospital
officials said today.
Abdul-Jabbar was admitted to the hospital with cardiovascular disease
and underwent surgery on Thursday — his 68th birthday, according to UCLA
Health. The procedure was performed by Dr. Richard Shemin, UCLA’s chief of
cardiac surgery.
“At this time, Abdul-Jabbar would like to thank his surgical team and
the medical staff at UCLA, his alma mater, for the excellent care he has
received,” according to a statement released by the hospital at Abdul-Jabbar’s
request. “He is looking forward to getting back to his normal activities soon.
He asks that you keep him in your thoughts and, most importantly, cherish and
live each day to its fullest.
“For those wanting to send well wishes, he thanks you in advance and
asks that you support those in your own community who may be suffering from
various health issues.”
Abdul-Jabbar played 20 seasons in the NBA, with the Milwaukee Bucks and
Lakers, retiring in 1989. He won six NBA Championships — five with the Lakers –
– was a 19-time All-Star and six-time league MVP. He is the league’s all-time
scoring leader with 38,387, most courtesy of his famed skyhook.
As Lew Alcindor, he won three national championships with the UCLA
Bruins. He changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1971, shortly after
winning his first NBA title with Milwaukee.
Abdul-Jabbar has also tried his hand at acting, most famously portraying
co-pilot Roger Murdock in the cult comedy hit “Airplane!” He also appeared
in films including “Fletch” and “Forget Paris,” and television shows such
as “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Diff’rent Strokes,” “The Fresh Prince of
Bel-Air” and “Scrubs.”
He earned critical acclaim for producing and co-writing the 2011
documentary film “On the Shoulders of Giants,” which documented the story of
the all-black professional basketball team the New York Renaissance, or Harlem
He has also written or co-written a half-dozen books, including his 1983
autobiography, “Giant Steps.”
He announced in 2009 that he was suffering from a form of leukemia, but
said two years later his cancer was largely in remission.
On her Twitter page, Laker co-owner and President Jeanie Buss urged
Laker fans to “please send all your positive energy to our Captain, Kareem
Abdul-Jabbar. Get well soon.”
UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said Abdul-Jabbar is “not only a
UCLA legend, he is a national treasure.”
“On behalf of Bruins everywhere, I want to wish him a complete and
speedy recovery so he can continue to make a positive impact on society by
following his passions and serving as an important cultural voice on the issues
of the day,” Guerrero said.

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