Legendary basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was appointed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday as a U.S. global cultural ambassador.
Clinton expressed the hope that Abdul-Jabbar will engage with young people in particular “as a means to create opportunities for greater understanding.”
“My life experiences have really prepared me for this,” he told the Associated Press, “and I won’t be in any unfamiliar territory. All these things that they expect me to do, I’ve dealt with before, and I think I can handle them.”
According to Abdul-Jabbar’s own website, “My first assignment will be in Brazil, a country that I’m thrilled to visit. The culture there is so vibrant and engaging. I’m a big jazz fan and Brazilian jazz is a very popular part of the nation’s cultural profile. I think I’ll get a chance to sample some of the current jazz on this trip. And of course there’s basketball. I’ll be involved putting on some clinics for the local hoopsters!”
This video is from the Associated Press, January 20, 2012.