Jordan, Abdul-Jabbar to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom
Congratulations to HOF members Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan on being named recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom! pic.twitter.com/2D1E621NGr
— Basketball HOF (@Hoophall) November 16, 2016
Outgoing US President Barrack Obama announced the recipients of Presidential Medal of Freedom on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), a list which includes NBA Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan.
The awards, which will be presented at the White House on Nov. 22, is considered the nation’s highest civilian honor a president can award, since it was first handed out in 1960.
“The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation’s highest civilian honor—it’s a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better,” the POTUS himself said in a White House news release.
“From scientists, philanthropists and public servants to activists, athletes and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way.”
Born as Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Abdul Jabar is a six-time NBA Champion, six-time Most Valuable Player and a nine-time NBA All-Star. His career total points of 38,387 is the highest ever scored by a player in the NBA, and his patented “sky hook” remains as one of the most iconic shots in all of basketball.
Jordan, on the other hand, is a universally renowed star and is considered as “one of the greatest athletes of all time.” He also won six NBA titles and Finals MVP awards.
Aside from being recognized as the two premier athletes to ever grace a basketball court, Jordan and Abdul Jabar are both renowed as active philanthropists and outspoken advocates for social justice.
Meanwhile, Obama has given out nine medals to sports figures—more than any other President—not counting the three that will be handed out next week.
Other medal awardees will include Ellen DeGeneres, Robert De Niro, Bill and Melinda Gates, Tom Hanks, Vin Scully, Bruce Springsteen and Diana Ross.
The awards ceremony will be streamed live at www.whitehouse.gov/live. Khristian Ibarrola