Distinguished Lectures

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Thursday March 8th at 7pm. Bud Walton Arena.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is Coming to the U of A's Walton Arena.

Abdul-Jabbar -- social activist, philanthropist, author and the NBA’s all-time leading scorer -- will present a free public lecture March 8.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will speak at the University of Arkansas as part of the student Distinguished Lecture series at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 8 at the Walton Arena. No tickets are required. Abdul-Jabbar retired from the NBA in 1989 and has built new careers as a social activist, commentator, philanthropist and author.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was one of the all-time great college basketball players, but he has never set foot in the University of Arkansas’s Bud Walton Arena.

That will change at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 8 when he visits Walton Arena as the latest speaker in the student-sponsored Distinguished Lecture Series. The event is free, open to the public and no tickets are needed.

The arena’s south entrance doors open a 6 p.m.

Abdul-Jabbar is most widely known for his basketball career – and his signature “skyhook” shot -- first as a college star at UCLA from 1967-69, and then for 20 years in the NBA, playing for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. He retired in 1989 as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, a record that stands today.

But his accomplishments did not end when he stepped away from basketball. As he has said of himself: “I can do more than stuff a ball through a hoop; my greatest asset is my mind.”

Abdul-Jabbar has proved that statement throughout a very active retirement: appearing in movies and television; writing or co-writing several books; speaking out and writing a regular column for Time magazine on a variety of social issues; and developing the Skyhook Foundation to bring educational opportunities to children in under-served communities through innovative STEM programs. He most recently published Becoming Kareem: Growing Up on and off the Court, a memoir for young readers.

In 2016 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.


Distinguished Lectures Committee (DLC)

DLC decides which dynamic and pertinent speakers to bring to the University of Arkansas campus. These speaking engagements are completely free to all students. Some of the speakers brought over the past few years have been President George H.W. Bush, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, basketball icon Magic Johnson, author Malcolm Gladwell, Jane Goodall, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Elie Wiesel, Steve Wozniak, and John Legend.

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