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New York museum honors city's rich basketball history

SeattlePI.com Friday, 14 February 2020 ()
NEW YORK (AP) — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar smiled as he rattled off the names of his former high school teammates and opponents.

The Hall of Fame center was intently watching video of one of his New York high school championships when he starred for Power Memorial Academy 55 years ago. He was known as Lew Alcindor back then, when he dominated the city before heading to UCLA.

The video was part of a new exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York that chronicles some of New York's greatest basketball players and moments — City/Game.

“I will always enjoy those memories," Abdul-Jabbar said. “I remember I was still in grade school when I started to go to NBA games at Madison Square Garden and that had an effect on me."

Abdul-Jabbar spent about 15 minutes walking through the exhibit, which opens to the public Friday. Besides the video, there was also a photo of him playing in high school. He quickly pointed out former Knicks' great Dean Meminger in the picture, as well.

The NBA's all-time scoring leader was also proud to talk about his father Ferdinand, who played in high school in New York in the 1930s with legendary Knicks coach Red Holzman.

“People don't realize that my dad played in high school with Red. They were teammates in high school and I don't think Red realized that I was the son of someone he played with," Abdul-Jabbar said. “Red graduated in January. My dad said we were good until Red graduated and then forget it."

Holzman's Knicks are well represented in the exhibit, with one of Bill Bradley's warmup jerseys and the 1970 championship banner the team won that usually hangs in the Westchester training facility.

The exhibit is divided into different eras of New York basketball starting in the 1900s and going through current time. There's Kenny...
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New York museum honors city's rich basketball history

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