Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton laughs after receiving a Los Angeles Lakers basketball jersey as a gift from global cultural ambassador and former NBA basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012, at the State Department in Wash
NEW YORK (AP) -- The NBA's all-time scoring leader is now a global cultural ambassador.
The State Department announced Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's appointment Wednesday.
Ann Stock, assistant secretary of state for education and cultural affairs, says Abdul-Jabbar will travel the world to engage a generation of young people to help promote diplomacy.
Stock says the appointment is part of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's vision of "Smart Power" that combines diplomacy, defense and development to "bridge the gap in a tense world through young people."
Abdul-Jabbar will travel to Brazil on Jan. 22 for a number of events centering on education, using his own experiences to help connect with young people.
The legendary center scored 38,387 points during his 20-year NBA career.