Most of the time, I think of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as a legendary basketball player-turned-curmudgeon. But he was in town yesterday for another purpose, to speak at STEM Solutions 2012, a conference focusing on educating kids in science, technology, engineering, and math. Luckily, I happened to have a family member in attendance. His discussion with Dean Kamen, the perpetually denim-clad inventor of the Segway PT, centered around how important it is to inspire youths to become interested in these fields from an early age.
Kareem’s always been a supporter of education, but has ramped it up in the past few years, becoming a U.S. cultural ambassador and wrote a book on the history of African-American inventors. Pretty respectable gig for a retired athlete, but that’s par for the course for Kareem.