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K-State Today

January 17, 2018

K-State to host basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in special Bramlage lecture

By Hannah Ens

K-State's Black Student Union, Student Governing Association, Union Program Council and Athletics Department have joined together to welcome six-time NBA champion, best-selling author, motivational speaker and cancer survivor Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Manhattan on Feb. 6 for a special lecture inside Bramlage Coliseum.

The special event, which is free and open to the public thanks to funding provided by SGA through its Diversity Program Council funds, will begin at 7 p.m. and will feature an interview and question-and-answer format. Abdul-Jabbar, one of the most influential and respected black men in America, is expected to address many topics including social justice, sports and his personal testimony.

"The Black Student Union is excited to bring the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Kansas State University as the keynote speaker for our 2018 Black History Month Celebration," said Brandon Clark, advisor for K-State’s Black Student Union. "While he is most known for his achievements on the basketball court, he has increasingly become more recognized as a best-selling author and social justice activist. BSU looks forward to this historic event on Feb. 6, and we hope that Kareem's message will continue to help our campus and community come together."

K-State students can pick up tickets from Jan. 16-19 outside of the UPC office from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. K-State students must have a valid student ID to claim up to four tickets. After Jan. 19, K-State students must go to the Bramlage Coliseum ticket office to pick up tickets. The general public can claim up to four tickets per person beginning Wednesday, Jan. 24, in the Bramlage Coliseum ticket office between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. All seating for this event will be general admission, and adequate Bramlage Coliseum security measures will be in effect, including the use of metal detectors and the Athletics Department's clear bag policy. No backpacks or other large bags or purses will be permitted. Click here to see details of the department's clear bag policy. For more ticket information, please contact the K-State ticket office at 800-221-CATS.

"Having someone as heralded as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar visit our campus and address the K-State and Manhattan community is a very unique and special opportunity,” added Athletics Director Gene Taylor. "His experiences as an athlete and his personal message will be something our students, staff and local community will remember for quite some time. We are thrilled to partner with our Black Student Union, SGA and UPC groups on campus to host such an exciting event."

Abdul-Jabbar, who converted to Islam in 1968 and boycotted the Olympics due to the treatment of African-Americans, is the NBA's all-time leading scorer and maintains a national platform as a regular contributing columnist for The Washington Post and Time Magazine, where he shares his thoughts on some of the most socially relevant and politically controversial topics facing our nation today. After 50 years as an athlete, activist and New York Times best-selling author, he offers his perspectives as a nationally recognized speaker who regularly appears on the lecture circuit. His new political book, "Writings on the Wall — Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White," was released in fall 2016 by Time Books and offers his personal perspectives on political issues facing America today.

Currently, Abdul-Jabbar serves as the chairman of his Skyhook Foundation whose mission is to "Give Kids a Shot That Can't be Blocked" by bringing educational STEM opportunities to under-served communities through innovative outdoor environmental learning.

His most recent projects include his debut novel "Mycroft Holmes," a mystery novel and the first of an action/mystery series based on Sherlock Holmes' savvy older brother released by Titan Publishing. In addition to the success of his novel, his first comic book series, "Mycroft Holmes & the Apocalypse Handbook" was released during Comic-Con in San Diego in July 2016 and continues to be a bestseller. His most recent book is a memoir, "Coach Wooden & Me — our 50-year friendship," which debuted in June 2017. President Obama awarded Abdul-Jabbar with the nation's highest civilian honor, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 2016.

K-State, as part of its Diversity and Inclusion Excellence plan, continues to raise awareness on its campus, in Manhattan and across the nation of the importance of diversity and inclusion and celebrate the eclectic population that makes the K-State Family unique and special. The Jan. 16 men's basketball game against Oklahoma has been selected as the department's first-ever Diversity and Inclusion game and will feature various promotions and information surrounding the initiative. Click here for more information.

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