Hall-of-famer and global cultural ambassador for the U.S. Department of State Kareem Abdul-Jabbar engages youth in Salvador, Brazil, on Jan. 24, 2012. Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of State, via Wikimedia Commons

Hall-of-famer and global cultural ambassador for the U.S. Department of State Kareem Abdul-Jabbar engages youth in Salvador, Brazil, on Jan. 24, 2012. Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of State, via Wikimedia Commons

Basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to keynote KCLS gala

The six-time NBA champion has written 12 books.

  • Friday, January 26, 2018 10:00am
  • Life

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will discuss basketball, libraries and books when he headlines the King County Library System Foundation’s 25th annual Literary Lions Gala fundraiser on March 10 in Bellevue.

Abdul-Jabbar is a star of the hardwoods and the hardbacks. He’s not only the National Basketball Association’s all-time leading scorer, a six-time NBA champion and the league’s only six-time Most Valuable Player, he’s also a New York Times best-selling author who has written 12 books. His most recent book, a memoir entitled “Coach Wooden & Me: Our 50 Year Friendship,” was released in June. Previous works include a series of novels and comic books entitled Mycroft Holmes, an action/mystery series based on Sherlock Holmes’s savvy older brother.

The Literary Lions Gala, the premier fundraising event for the King County Library System Foundation, will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue. The event raises money to support literacy and learning programs at the library system’s 49 libraries.

Nancy Pearl, renowned book expert and literary speaker, will once again emcee the event.

After 50 years as an athlete, activist and best-selling author, Abdul-Jabbar is passionate about writing and politics. His political book, “Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White,” offers his personal perspectives on political issues facing America today. He currently serves as chairman of his Skyhook Foundation, whose mission is to “Give Kids a Shot That Can’t be Blocked” by bringing educational STEM opportunities to under-served communities through innovative outdoor environmental learning.

Pearl is a beloved Seattle celebrity and librarian who celebrates the written word with regular speaking engagements at bookstores and libraries across the country and on her monthly television program, “Book Lust with Nancy Pearl.” She is a regular commentator on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” and its NPR affiliate, KUOW Seattle and is the author of “Book Lust.” Her debut novel “George and Lizzie” was published in September.

The gala will feature 17 outstanding authors, fabulous food and wine and opportunities to purchase books and tickets to several exclusive author salons. Guests who purchase the popular salons will have the future opportunity to mingle with guest authors over refreshments in an intimate setting.

Last year, more than $390,000 was raised at the gala, which provides funding for programs and services that educate and inform children, youth and adults, enhancing the lives of residents throughout King County.

The event runs from 6-9 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue, 900 Bellevue Way NE. Tickets are $250 each; VIP tickets that include a pre-gala reception with the authors are $350 each. For more information about sponsoring the event, or to purchase tickets for the gala, go to www.kclsfoundation.org/literarylionsgala or call 425-369-3448.

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