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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Helped Draftee James Worthy Get A B+ In One Course That Allowed Him To Graduate From College

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Helped Draftee James Worthy Get A B+ In One Course That Allowed Him To Graduate From College

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a very solid argument to be considered the greatest basketball player to have ever played the game and while his unbelievable quality on the basketball court is a huge factor in that, it's also the contributions Kareem has made in terms of social justice that play a major role. Abdul-Jabbar has been vocal since the 60s and his rise to prominence about the pervasive issues with systemic racism and how they can and need to be dealt with. 

Kareem has proved himself to be one of the smartest athletes of all time, someone that is well versed in history, politics and various other social sciences. But he has been this way his whole life, even during his time dominating the NBA, as evidenced by a wonderful story of the time he tutored James Worthy off the top of his head to help him graduate college (via The Athletic). 

"When he was drafted by the Lakers in 1982, Worthy was about 15 credits shy of graduating from college. He was taking independent courses at USC to complete his degree and, as part of it, was reading a book on the Missouri Compromise.

"Abdul-Jabbar spotted the book and began reciting dates and events surrounding the legislation that admitted Missouri to the Union as a slave state and Maine as a free state while prohibiting slavery from the remaining Louisiana Purchase. Worthy credits Abdul-Jabbar’s free tutoring with getting a B-plus in the class. He also credits Abdul-Jabbar with turning him to jazz music."

Abdul-Jabbar has written several books since he retired, especially on African-American history, which makes this story quite unsurprising. The fact that Kareem has been fighting against racism when he could easily have chosen not to, at a time when it was much more difficult to do so as well, is a huge factor in why he is arguably the greatest ever. There's simply nothing the man couldn't do, be it writing novels, dominating the NBA, or as it turns out, tutoring an athlete to a B+ without even meaning to!