Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a Children’s Author

By: Emily Greene - September 29, 2013

He has tackled the NBA, acted on both the big and small screen, been a basketball coach, became a best-selling author, served as a cultural ambassador for the United States, and battled cancer. Now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a children’s author.

The leading scorer in NBA history has written the children’s book, Sasquatch in the Paint, the first book in a trilogy. Abdul-Jabbar says this book is about “life lessons.” He adds, “It’s kids growing up. It’s based on a lot of the experiences I had growing up, trying to make that transition from being a child to being an adult. Going through adolescence. The main character in the book, Theo, is in the eighth grade. He’s just had a growth spurt, he’s not very good at playing basketball, but because he’s tall, everybody expects him to be a dominant player.”

The book doesn’t just deal with growth spurts and growing up. Abdul-Jabbar says the book also teaches kids that it’s cool to be smart. “Theo, the main character, is on the academic team. He’s smart. Books just don’t sit in the corner in his room. That was one message I want to get across. Being smart is cool,” said Abdul-Jabbar. He wants kids, especially minority kids, to know that they can be successful in other things other than athletics, music, or acting.

Abdul-Jabbar has been on a book tour since the release of Sasquatch in the Paint. Part of his tour has been visiting military families. His first stop was Fort Bragg, a place close to his heart. From 1941 – 1943 his father, Ferdinand Alcindor, Sr., was assigned to the 16th Field Artillery Battalion at Fort Bragg. On Thursday, Abdul-Jabbar spoke with students, parents, and teachers on behalf of Reading Is Fundamental, the nonprofit children’s literacy organization, at the Army post.

One celebrity fan who recommends Abdul-Jabbar’s book is Billy Crystal.

Below you can watch a video of Abdul-Jabbar discussing Sasquatch in the Paint.

This isn’t Abdul-Jabbar’s first foray into children’s literature. He previously wrote What Color Is My World?, a book about black inventors that read more like a history book. What Color Is My World? received an N.A.A.C.P. Image Award.

[Image via Abdul-Jabbar’s official Twitter.]

Emily Greene

About the Author

Emily GreeneEmily Greene is a journalist and budding fashionista. She is a die hard fan of UK and the Greenbay Packers. She is a self-professed Anglophile and loves a good musical in any platform. You can follow her on Twitter and Google+

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  • http://thegoatfoundation5.org Will KItch

    Hi, Mr.Jabbar, this is what we are doing at the Goat’s Foundation, through his son, Darrin. We are also interested in working on a sequel of the movie: “REBOUND.” We have a major funding stream and a major film studio interested. We would like to talk with you at your earliest convenience: on how you may help us with an anniversary and cast reunion for the film, Rebound. Along with the promotion of your new book, Sasquatch In The Paint. It would be huge in commemorating your life work and how it may continually inspire young people we service at the Earl Manigault Foundation Inc.,too. thegoatfoundation5.org. Also, help the Goat’s Foundation become self sufficient. Something when he as alive didn’t happen, and after 43 years now also have not happened; after his untimely passing. Thank you in advance for any serious way you may help us help all our youths, Earnestly, Will Kitch, Board Member, Earl Manigault Foundation Inc.