April 17, 2015 / 11:24 PM / 5 years ago

All-time scoring leader Abdul-Jabbar has heart surgery

NBA former player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar during the NBA All Star skill contest at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - NBA Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the league’s all-time leading scorer, is recovering from quadruple coronary bypass surgery, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center said on Friday.

Dr. Richard Shemin, who performed the operation on Thursday, said Abdul-Jabbar was expected to make a full recovery.

Abdul-Jabbar, who marked his 68th birthday on Thursday, was diagnosed with cardiovascular disease earlier in the week.

The 7-foot-2 New York native was one of the most potent offensive players in the game.

He won 71 consecutive basketball games on his Power Memorial high school team in New York City, and won three consecutive national collegiate championships and was a three-time NCAA Tournament most valuable player with UCLA.

Abdul-Jabbar won six NBA championships, five with the Los Angeles Lakers and one with the Milwaukee Bucks.

He battled successfully through leukemia in 2009.

Tweeted Lakers’ owner and executive Jeanie Buss: “Dear #Lakers Family: Please send all your positive energy to our Captain-Kareem Abdul-Jabbar @kaj33. Get well soon.”

Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Gene Cherry

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