REGION — NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar visited Scripps Health in San Diego on Monday to donate 900 pairs of safety goggles to protect health care professionals on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Abdul-Jabbar regularly wore goggles on his way to becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer — so it’s fitting that he’s donating eyewear in what may be one of his biggest assists yet off the court.
The 72-year-old ex-athlete, who played 20 seasons for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers, said he “wants to thank all of the doctors, nurses and medical professionals for all they’re doing to help fight the coronavirus,” according to a Scripps statement.
Abdul-Jabbar was motivated to give back after learning about the need for more medical equipment from his longtime lawyer Steven Anapoell, whose brother, Dr. William Anapoell, practices at Scripps.
Abdul-Jabbar’s longtime friend and manager of 25 years, Deborah Morales, is leveraging his name, image and likeness globally to help locate and secure other much-needed, high-quality medical supplies for Scripps and other hospitals in Southern California, according to Scripps.
Dr. Anapoell was on hand to greet Abdul-Jabbar, a were Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder, Scripps Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ghazala Sharieff and other members of the Scripps Health team.
The nonprofit health care delivery system operates five hospitals and 28 outpatient centers in San Diego County.