[JPL] About Kareem

Arturo Gomez arturo at kuvo.org
Fri Jan 20 11:19:35 EST 2012

Kareem has been a misunderstood man by most people and the media. Even as Lew Alcindor at Power Memorial High School, at UCLA and his 1st few years in the NBA before he changed to his Islamic name, he was viewed as unfriendly because he's always been an intelligent, Afro-Centric man who doesn't do well in idle chatter or responding to silly questions. Basketball was just what he did for a living, he was never a typical jock. Muhammad Ali faced many of the same prejudices as well, in fact Kareem along with Bill Russell, Jim Brown and a  very few other prominent athletes were behind Ali's decision to refuse induction into the military

Kareem is a scholar on may subjects as evidenced by the several fine books he has authored, he is also a lifelong jazz, Latin jazz and salsa music fan and collector. He can play some percussion and on occasion has sat in with some Latin players including Dave Valentín. In the late 1970s, his house burned down to the ground and he lost most of his massive music collection. In my several encounters with Kareem -always of the court and in non-basketball situations, he has been a most friendly, open person and extremely easy to talk to on a variety of subjects

He's an ideal choice for being a US Cultural Ambassador, kudos to Hilary Clinton for making that selection

Arturo Gómez
Music Director
The Oasis In The City, The Front Range and the High Country!

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