US Coins

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to fill CCAC vacancy

A Jan. 26, 2012, State Department photo shows Hall of Fame basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in his role then as Global Cultural Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State.

Image courtesy of U.S. State Department.

The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee is getting a new celebrity member. 

The United States Mint announced in a press release on Jan. 19 that NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been appointed to serve on the panel, which reviews and recommends proposed designs for coins and medals issued by the Mint.

Abdul-Jabbar will be replacing Coin World editor-at-large Steve Roach, who resigned from the CCAC earlier this year, as a voice on the panel that is meant to represent the interests of the general public. 

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The NBA’s all-time leading scorer (38,387 career points) who played for the Milwaukee Bucks from 1969 to 1975 and the L.A. Lakers from 1975 to 1989, Abdul-Jabbar is an avid coin collector who got into the hobby because of his love for history and his interest in Alexander Hamilton. 

Abdul-Jabbar is also known for his movie roles, including his famous cameo in the goofball comedy Airplane!

The basketball hall-of-famer is the chairman of his Skyhook Foundation, named for his signature basketball shot. The foundation strives to “Give Kids a Shot That Can’t be Blocked” through increased educational opportunities in underserved communities, and outdoor environmental education.

He is a contributing columnist to The Washington Post and Time Magazine, and a best-selling author. Abdul-Jabbar was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama on Nov. 23, 2016, in recognition of his outspoken advocacy of social justice.

What is the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee?

Here's how the Mint release describes the CCAC:

The CCAC, established by an Act of Congress in 2003, advises the secretary of the Treasury on theme or design proposals relating to circulating coinage, bullion coinage, congressional gold medals and other medals produced by the United States Mint. The CCAC also makes commemorative coin recommendations to the Treasury secretary and advises on the events, persons or places to be commemorated, as well as on the mintage levels and proposed designs.

The CCAC is subject to the authority of the secretary of the Treasury. The United States Mint is responsible for providing necessary and appropriate administrative support, technical services and advice.

The CCAC submits an annual report to congress and the secretary of the Treasury, describing its activities and providing recommendations.

The CCAC is not the only panel that reviews and recommends U.S. coin and medal designs. The Commission of Fine Arts makes recommendations on the same items. The Treasury Department considers the recommendations of both panels when selecting final designs. 

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