The weekend of November 16-17, 2012 belonged to Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The legend literally hovered over the city during the statue unveiling ceremony in Chick Hearn Plaza.
Former teammates and celebrities then attended the first "Roast" of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the Gold Ballroom of JW Marriott L.A. Live. Multi-talented entertainer George Lopez hosted the event with several hundred guest in attendance.
The "Roast" benefitted Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Skyhook Foundation, whose mission is to raise the academic aspirations of students by connecting them with mentors who are equipped to motivate and engage under-serve youth to reach their potential. By developing a deep understanding of careers outside of sports and entertainment, they excite students about the possibilities of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) careers and open a world of opportunities for their future. The Skyhook Foundation "Gives Kids A Shot That Can't Be Blocked". For more information visit www.skyhookfoundation.org
Many sports icons and celebrity guest walked the Red Carpet prior to the dinner, roast and silent auction. The people walking the Red Carpet were John Salley, Football legend Jim Brown, Supermodel Kathy Ireland and her son Erik, Actor Beau Bridges and his son Dillon, Jazz vocalist Carmen Lundy and NBA legends A.C Green, Elgin Baylor, Kurt Rambis, Michael Cooper, and Jamaal Wilkes to name a few.
Media and VIP guest were allowed a sneak preview of the unprecedented 300+ piece memorabilia exhibit that was unveiled at Staples Center spanning the entire career of the basketball icon, best selling author, humanitarian and cultural ambassador. The exhibit features never before seen photographs, one of which was a photograph of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar playing drums while jamming with boxing legend Muhammad Ali on guitar.
Additional items consist of autograph boxing glove, a huge rocking chair fit for a legend, championship rings, keys to various cities, proclamations, plaques and awards from all levels of government, jersies, basketball shoes, trophies as well as a basketball rim, and basketballs framing a video monitor, just to name a few. You will be thrilled to view the contents of this amazing exhibit at the Staples Center.
The roast featured additional legends in attendance. Jazz legend Herbie Hancock, NBA legends Ervin "Magic" Johnson, James Worthy, Jerry West, Norm Nixon and "Dr. J - Erving. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sat in his giant Rocking chair and smiled and laughed as former teammates shared fond memories and humorous tales of their playing days together to the delight of the audience gathered in the Gold Ballroom of JW Marriott L.A.Live.
The celebrity Roast served as the kick-off announcement to a national multi-city tour called the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Experience. Presented by The Skyhook Foundation, it will benefit STEM Education (Science,Technology,Engineering & Mathematics).
Ricky Ricardo is a Southern California based writer,music reviewer and photographer with an emphasis in Latin and World music.