Basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has revealed that he is being treated for a rare form of leukemia. The 62-year-old, the NBA's all-time leading scorer, was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia last December but insists his prognosis is positive.
The LA Lakers legend says he wants to raise awareness of the illness.
"I've never been a person to share my private life, but I can help save lives," he said. "It's incumbent on someone like me to talk about this."
Abdul-Jabbar went for tests last year after feeling odd sensations, saying: "I was getting hot flashes and sweats on a regular basis. That's not normal, even for my age."
Tests revealed a "sky-high" white blood cell count and doctors diagnosed the rare condition.
But despite admitting he was "scared" upon hearing the diagnosis, the Lakers assistant coach is taking oral medication and has not had to cut back his level of activity of coaching, change his regime or adjust his diet.
"There is hope," he added. "This condition can be treated. You can still live a productive, full life. I'm living proof I can make it."
Abdul-Jabbar scored 38,387 points and won six NBA titles in a glittering 20-year career with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Lakers.
He started his career with the Bucks in 1969 before being traded to the Lakers in 1975, retiring in 1989 at the age of 42.
Abdul-Jabbar, famed for his sky-hook shot, was a six-time winner of the NBA's most valuable player award and was a 19-time NBA All-Star.