Lakers star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, famed for wearing goggles during his NBA career, stopped by Scripps Health in San Diego on Monday, where he donated – what else? -- 900 pairs of safety goggles to health care workers.
The NBA’s all-time leading scorer, who played a half-dozen seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks before settling in for the balance of his career with L.A., hand-delivered the goggles, even briefly modeling a pair.
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“I feel for you – that’s why we’re here,” Abdul-Jabbar told his Scripps welcoming committee, at one point joking that he hoped they looked as good in the goggles as he did during his playing days. “Good luck.”
The inventor of the iconic Skyhook shot “was motivated to give back after learning about the need for more medical equipment from his longtime lawyer Steven Anapoell, whose brother Dr. William Anapoell practices at Scripps,” according to a news release the hospital send out on Monday.
“This has been such a fantastic day.… These goggles are so important right now,” Scripps president and CEO Chris Van Gorder said. “It’s one of the items we cannot purchase through our normal channels. I was working with the county just yesterday, and they can’t find any goggles, so to have somebody as famous as Kareem come all the way down here to donate goggles to us … it’s just absolutely amazing.”
Abdul-Jabbar and his longtime manager, Deborah Morales, will be involved in similar donations at other hospitals in Southern California, according to the news release.
Abdul-Jabbar’s most well-known charitable works are connected to his Skyhook Foundation, which, according to the NBA.com, “sends children from economically challenged backgrounds to summer camps focusing on science, technology and engineering.”
An auction of his memorabilia last year, including many of his NBA championship rings, raised nearly $3 million for the organization. '