NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has just gone public that he has cancer. Abdul-Jabbar, now 62, has revealed that he was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukiemia in December 2008. We yogadorks know him not only as a basketball star but as an early sports celebriyogi and one of Bikram’s prime spotlight students.
Normally a very private man, the buoyant b-baller wants to send a positive message:
“I want to help people who are confronted with this type of situation, just to let them know it doesn’t have to be a death sentence.”
“I’m telling my story to encourage fellow patients to take charge of their health,” he said. “Work closely with your doctor, monitor your disease and, above all, take your medicine.”
“Yoga is just good for you. I couldn’t tell you specifically how it would benefit, but in terms of your general physical condition, it’s good for you,” he says. “I’m not angry about it. That’s the luck of the draw. These things happen. I just feel I’m very fortunate there’s a means to manage it.”
Our hearts go out to Mr. Abdul-Jabbar and his family, but we know he’s in good care (yoga AND his son’s a doctor).
Kareem on Yoga, 1992 Men’s Health article.
“My friends and teammates think I made a deal with the devil. But it was yoga that made my training complete.”