Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Vin Scully to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

By The Sports Xchange  |  Nov. 17, 2016 at 11:02 AM
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NBA legends Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

President Barack Obama named 21 recipients for the honor on Wednesday that included the three sports icons.

The medals, the nation's highest civilian honor a president can award, will be presented at the White House next Tuesday.

"The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation's highest civilian honor -- it's a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better," President Obama said in a statement. "From scientists, philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way."

Jordan played for coach Dean Smith at the University of North Carolina where he was a member of the Tar Heels' national championship team in 1982. He went on to play 15 seasons in the NBA, winning six championships with the Chicago Bulls, five Most Valuable Player awards and appearing in 14 All-Star games. He is currently principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets.

Abdul-Jabbar won five championships during his career with the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks. He was a six-time MVP and a 19-time All Star.

Scully retired in October after 67 seasons as the Los Angeles Dodgers' radio and television play-by-play announcer.

Other medal recipients will include Ellen DeGeneres, Robert De Niro, Bill and Melinda Gates, Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, Cicely Tyson, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross and Lorne Michaels.

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