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EP 183: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Remembers Coach John Wooden

NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar talks about his 50 year friendship with the "Wizard of Westwood" UCLA Coach John Wooden. He says Coach Wooden was more concerned with his players’ grades than with winning basketball games, he shares some of the wisdom that Coach Wooden imparted, and talks about the time Coach helped Abdul-Jabbar forgive another one of his early mentors who used a racial slur. He talks about how he felt when the NCAA banned dunking and how Coach Wooden helped him overcome that setback by showing him how use his signature "skyhook" to maximum effect on the court. Plus, Kareem shares some of Wooden’s favorite inspirational quotes, the Coach's essential advice on how to put your shoes and socks on, and Kareem explains how his two loves - basketball and jazz are really very similar.

Order Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's new book Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court on Amazon or download the audiobook for free with a special trial offer just for our listeners at You can learn more about what Kareem is up to these days at and support his charity The Skyhook Foundation at Follow Kareem on Twitter at @KAJ33.

Today's episode is sponsored by Find out why US Markerboard is the premium supplier of whiteboards and visual display products in North America. Go to and use the promo code KICK for 10% off.

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