By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar recently donated 900 pairs of safety goggles to Scripps Health in San Diego during a visit to the clinic earlier this month.
Abdul-Jabbar who is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer often wore goggles on the court. He retired in 1989 at age 42, no NBA player had ever scored more points, blocked more shots, won more Most Valuable Player awards, played in more All-Star Games or logged more seasons, according to his NBA profile.
The goggles are intended to help protect doctors, nurses, and medical professionals during the fight against the coronavirus. “I am honored to be able to use whatever resources I can to help UCLA Health continue its courageous and necessary work to protect the health of our community,” Abdul-Jabbar said in a news release.
The eighteen-time All-Star got the idea for the donation after hearing about the need for more medical equipment from his longtime lawyer Steven Anapoell, whose brother Dr. William Anapoell practices at Scripps.
Scripps Health is a nonprofit health care system in San Diego County that includes five hospitals and 28 outpatient centers.
UCLA’s Dr. Eric Esrailian, the chief of the Vatche & Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, are the main leaders in helping get supplies and protective equipment for workers at UCLA Health. He also created two coronavirus-related funds – one to help patients and the other to help first responders.