Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been appointed "global cultural ambassador" by secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The Hall of Famer and NBA career scoring leader will promote the importance of education, social and racial tolerance, cultural understanding and using sports as a means of empowerment …
"It's a great honor and I'm thrilled that they see me as the person that could get this done," he said in a phone interview.
The 64-year-old said he remembers a similar program under President John F. Kennedy where speakers came to his school in Harlem.
"So now I get to follow in the footsteps of one my heroes," he said.
Ann Stock, assistant secretary of state for education and cultural affairs, said Abdul-Jabbar will travel the world to engage a generation of young people to help promote diplomacy.
Stock said Tuesday the appointment is part of Clinton's vision of "Smart Power" that combines diplomacy, defense and development to "bridge the gap in a tense world through young people."
Abdul-Jabbar said he will share his take on life in America, adding: "I'll be doing a few basketball clinics, too."
You hear that Romania, Eritrea, Madagascar? Kareem's coming to teach you how to shoot a sky hook. You're welcome.