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.

More in Life

Mercer Island students cultivate kindness

A Kindness Tree was created at Northwood Elementary to recognize compassionate acts.

Mercer Island legislators to host Town Hall

In other community news, there’s a dance on Friday and city offices will be closed Monday.

Mercer Island retirees get into Olympic spirit

Covenant Shores residents and staff have been participating in their own Olympic Games this week.

Mercer Island dog wins Sunrise Pet of the Year contest

Moose, who was adopted by the assisted living community last year, beat 61 other pets for the award.

A revived Mercer Island Historical Society opens up the past

The group plans to digitize past issues of the Reporter and more.

Mercer Island Center for the Arts forges a new path

MICA to embark on public engagement process, expresses openness to explore alternative sites.

YTN brings international art project to Mercer Island

Japanese artists will teach the community about Kamishibai at Sunday workshops in February.

New endowment at UW to continue legacy of Islanders Aubrey, Henrietta Davis

Former Mercer Island mayor’s children honor his commitment to “knowledge, excellence and altruism.”

Mercer Island Girl Scouts help the homeless over the holidays

Troop 44297 put together 100 care packages with the help of local businesses.

Islanders share study abroad experiences from Russia, China, India

Two college juniors return to the U.S. after studying business and culture in BRIC countries.

White Christmas on Mercer Island | Eye on MI

Submit your photos to editor@mi-reporter.com for the Reporter’s “Eye on MI” feature.

Year in Review: Mercer Island sees major changes locally and nationally

2017 brought a new city manager, schools superintendent, residential code, I-90 lawsuit and more.