He was born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr.  He's the NBA's all-time scoring leader - widely considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time.  He's the master of the skyhook.  And now . . . he's coming to Spokane Hoopfest!  If you haven't figured it out by now, you're not a true fan of basketball and should be ashamed of yourself.  And just so you know, I'm talking about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar!

I really don't feel like you are getting how BIG of a deal this is.  To put it in perspective for you non-basketball people (again, you should be ashamed of yourself), Abdul-Jabbar coming to Hoopfest would be like Tiger Woods playing a round of 18 at The Creek at Qualchan, Luciano Pavarotti singing at The Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, or Michelangelo painting the ceiling of the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Rick Steltenpohl, Executive Director of Hoopfest, summed up the Abdul-Jabbar announcement with these words:  "As Hoopfest celebrates its 20th anniversary, we are excited to have Kareem as a part of the success Hoopfest brings to the region."  Really Rick?  I think that's the understatement of the year!  We all know you were doing the happy dance in your office when you got the news!  No offense to home town boy Johnny Stockton, but Kareem is head and shoulders (literally) above Spokane's golden child.  For gosh sakes, the guy basically has a patent on the skyhook!  No other player in NBA history can lay claim to that.  Except maybe Rick Barry and the underhand free-throw.  But it's called the granny shot . . . not cool.

Want to guarantee yourself a Kareem sighting?  Get a ticket and get to The Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox on Friday, June 26, 7 pm.  Founder of Raise Your Hoop IQ, a fundraising program for hoops-related organizations, Abdul-Jabbar will give a presentation and participate in a question and answer session and book signing.  Each ticket guarantees you an autographed book "On the Shoulders of Giants," an audio documentary CD and Skyhook T-shirt.

Don't want to fork over the dough?  No worries, you can still follow Kareem on his Spokane Hoopfest adventure through Twitter.  Just follow @kaj33 (http://twitter.com/kaj33).

Oh, and just so you know, all the hype surrounding Spokane Hoopfest's 20th anniversary and the attendance of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is not falling on deaf ears.  The poor bracketologists at Hoopfest are experiencing a record amount of entries and expect to break the all-time record for number of teams in the tournament!

If you can't tell - I'm excited.  And you should be too!  For more Insider information on Hoopfest check out the Top 10 Reasons I Love Spokane Hoopfest.