Yesterday I attended a Compeer event and got the opportunity to meet Kareem Abdul-Jabber. Did you know that he is REALLY tall. I mean wow! I knew he was tall but until you see the guy in person you just don't get it! Check out the picture of him behind the podium speaking to the crowd. When he first came up to the podium to talk his jacket was open and you could see his belt buckle about 5 inches above the top of the podium. In comparison the podium was about rib to chest level for the other speakers.
He told his story about growing up in Harlem and having the opportunity to get a great education because of basketball. Kareem talked a lot about today's young MBA players who have come into the MBA directly from high school with out going to college and the difficulties they have adjusting to the life style that comes with being a highly paid professional athlete and how most of them today have very little of the millions of dollars they made as professional athletes. I think what he was trying to say is programs like Compeer allow young people to spend time with people who will help point them in the right direction. That direction may be college or why is it a good idea to stay out of trouble. I am glad I took the time out of my day to donate money to a good cause and listen to someone who has used his good fortune to help others get ahead in life.
Kareem yelled across the room to me when I first arrived at the convention center. He said, Scott come over and let me get my picture taken with you... Okay, that's a lie. I showed up at 10:00 with the rest of my friends and stood in line to buy a picture of Kareem and then stood in line a little longer so he could autograph it for me. None the less, it was a cool experience.
I can tell he has been reading my blog because he did talk about the power to weight ratio that I wrote about in my last post. He mentioned how some of the larger players today get injured more than he did during his career. These new guys are just as tall as Kareem but they out weigh him buy as much as 100 pounds. The extra weight fatigues and beats up your body. Kareem signed this picture just for me because the advise I gave was so spot on. Again... that's not true. I am sure has has never read my blog or even knows who I am.