LOS ANGELES (AP) — Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was recovering Friday after undergoing quadruple coronary bypass surgery.
He had the surgery a day earlier at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to a hospital statement.
Dr. Richard Shemin, who performed the surgery, said the 68-year-old former NBA and UCLA star is expected to make a full recovery. He was admitted to the hospital this week with cardiovascular disease.
Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points during a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks that ended in 1989. The 7-foot-2 center was known for his trademark sky hook shot.
In the statement, Abdul-Jabbar said he’s looking forward to getting back to his usual activities soon. He asked people to keep him in their thoughts and “most importantly, cherish and live each day to the fullest.”
Abdul-Jabbar urged anyone wanting to send him well wishes to instead “support those in your own community who may be suffering from various health issues.”
He was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia in 2008. In recent years, he has written several books.
Abdul-Jabbar was a record six-time NBA MVP and a record 19-time All-Star. He was twice voted MVP of the NBA Finals. He helped the Lakers win five NBA championships during the franchise’s “Showtime” era.
Born Lewis Alcindor Jr. in New York, he adopted the Muslim name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1971.
He played on three consecutive national title teams at UCLA under coach John Wooden, and was named MVP of the NCAA Tournament each time.