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Jamaal Wilkes: Wikis


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Jamaal Wilkes
Small forward/shooting guard
Born May 2, 1953 (1953-05-02) (age 56)
Berkeley, California
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Listed weight 190 lb (86 kg)
High school Santa Barbara
College UCLA
Draft 11th overall, 1974
Golden State Warriors
Pro career 1974–1986
Former teams Golden State Warriors (1974–77)
Los Angeles Lakers (1977–85)
Los Angeles Clippers (1985–86)

Jamaal Wilkes (born Jackson Keith Wilkes on May 2, 1953 in Berkeley, California) is a retired American basketball player who played the small forward position and won four NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors. Wilkes was also a key player in the run of NCAA championships accumulated during the John Wooden era of UCLA basketball. Upon entering the NBA in 1974, Wilkes converted to Islam and legally changed his name to Jamaal Abdul-Lateef, but retained his surname throughout his NBA career. He has since reverted to usage of Jamaal Keith Wilkes in his personal and professional life.


Playing career

One of the smoothest, steadiest and most productive forwards to ever play in the NBA (he possessed a deadly accurate jump shot from the corner that Hall of Fame Laker announcer Chick Hearn dubbed the "20 foot layup") Jamaal "Smooth as Silk" Wilkes won championships at the scholastic, collegiate and professional levels.

Wilkes was an All-America Prep player at Santa Barbara High School (his teammate Don Ford also played in the NBA with the Lakers) in Santa Barbara, California. As a two-time All-America at UCLA, Wilkes teamed with Bill Walton to bring UCLA the 1972 and 1973 NCAA titles, and a third place finish in 1974. As a Bruin, Wilkes was part of UCLA teams that won a record 88 consecutive games. In three years at UCLA, Wilkes averaged 15.0 ppg and 7.4 rpg and shot 51.4 percent from the field, and was also named to the 1972 NCAA All-Tournament Team and was a first-team Academic All-America in 1972, 1973, and 1974.

In March 2007, he was inducted into the Pac-10 Men's Basketball Hall of Honor. In an interview with the New York Post in 1985 and in several public speaking engagements, legendary coach Wooden stated, when asked to describe his ideal player: “I would have the player be a good student, polite, courteous, a good team player, a good defensive player and rebounder, a good inside player and outside shooter. Why not just take Jamaal Wilkes and let it go at that."

In 12 professional seasons with the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, and Los Angeles Clippers, Wilkes was a member of four NBA championship teams - one with Golden State in 1975, the season he was named Rookie of the Year - and three with the Lakers (1980, 1982, 1985), though an injury prevented him from playing in the 1985 NBA finals against the Boston Celtics, yet the Lakers' won the series in six games over the Celtics, 4-2.

For his career, Wilkes registered 14,664 points (17.7 ppg) and 5,117 rebounds (6.2 rpg), averaging 16.1 ppg in 113 postseason games. He played in the 1976, 1981, and 1983 All-Star Games and was named to the NBA All-Defensive Team twice. The Sporting News named Wilkes to its NBA All-Pro Second Team three years.

Personal life

Along with being one of the co-authors behind the book and audio course, “Success Under Fire: Lessons For Being Your Best In Crunch Time”, Wilkes became a highly sought after motivational speaker for national organizations and Fortune 500 corporations. Upon his retirement from the NBA, he worked in the real estate and financial services industries in the last 22 years. In 2003, along with business partner Liza Wayne, he founded Jamaal Wilkes Financial Advisors, a firm specializing in wealth management solutions.

Wilkes is a long-time resident of Playa Del Rey, where Lakers owner Jerry Buss and coach Phil Jackson, as well as other Lakers and Clippers players also reside. He has two sons and a daughter. His oldest son, Omar, graduated from the University of California at Berkeley where he played as shooting guard (6'4") for the basketball team.[1]His youngest, Jordan, is a sophomore center (7'0") for the same college,[2]while only daughter Sabreen, graduated from UCLA in 2005 (also playing volleyball for the college), went on to pursue a modeling and acting career. Wilkes himself made his feature-film debut as Nathaniel "Cornbread" Hamilton in the 1975 basketball-themed drama, Cornbread, Earl and Me, starring Moses Gunn, Rosalind Cash and Bernie Casey. The film also marked the on-screen debut of actor Laurence Fishburne, who was 12 years old at the time.


External links

Preceded by
Ernie DiGregorio
Rookie of the Year

Succeeded by
Alvan Adams


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