UCLA to honor Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for receiving nation's highest civilian honor

UCLA will honor Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in a ceremony at Pauley Pavilion on Saturday during the team's game versus Arizona, the school announced on Wednesday.

The ceremony will recognize the former Bruins legend for receiving the nation's highest civilian honor -- the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- this past November from President Barack Obama. The medal was to honor not only his greatness on the court, but his contributions to society when his days as a basketball player ended.

Said Obama in November: "The reason we honor Kareem is more than just a pair of goggles and the sky hook. He stood up for his Muslim faith when it wasn't easy and wasn't popular. He's as comfortable sparring with Bruce Lee as he is advocating on Capitol Hill or writing with extraordinary eloquence on patriotism."

Kareem was the centerpiece to a UCLA program that went to -- and won -- three consecutive NCAA titles, compiling a near spotless 88-2 record during that span. He averaged 26.4 points per game in his three seasons with UCLA before becoming the NBA's all-time leading scorer. He was eventually elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.

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