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Endowment for Youth Committee Scores NBA Great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as Guest Speaker

The retired professional basketball player will discuss his latest book at Saturday's 3rd Annual Black History Month Celebration

In honor of its third annual Black History Month Celebration, the Santa Barbara Endowment for Youth Committee will present NBA all-time great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the guest speaker of the marquee event, at 6 p.m. Saturday at Bacara Resort & Spa.

The EYC is a nonprofit organization that provides social, cultural and academic programs for underrepresented and underserved youths from local low-income families.

Since 1986, the organization has offered after-school programs, including science, mathematics, music, engineering and technology, as well as counseling and family support services, to underprivileged youths in the community.

The Bacara, at 8301 Hollister Ave. in Goleta, will host the evening, complete with a three-course dinner, live jazz and complimentary wine courtesy of Buttonwood Winery.

The highlight of the event is sure to be a rare interview with Abdul-Jabbar, moderated by UCSB Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Dr. Michael Young.

During his 20-year career, from 1969 to 1989, the 7-foot-2-inch center scored an astonishing 38,387 points, while claiming a record six league MVP awards and winning six NBA championships. He also won two NBA Finals MVP awards.

Since retiring from basketball, Abdul-Jabbar has been known as a coach, actor and author. His latest book, On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance, was praised by author-poet Aberjhani as “a superior work of lively history, passionate memoir, keen social commentary and entertaining musical appreciation.”

EYC Executive Director Justin Wilkins said he’s thrilled that guests will get an opportunity to appreciate Abdul-Jabbar’s deeply researched perspectives and unique views on the cultural importance and progression of the black community.

“In addition to being one of the all-time NBA greats, he is an extremely intelligent writer, and an astute historian,” said Wilkins, who expects about 250 people to turn out for the event. “His beliefs and efforts are very much in line with our mission, so we are very fortunate to have him coming to speak.”

Click here for tickets to the event or for information on how to donate to the EYC.

— Kevin McFadden is a Noozhawk contributor.

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