Jamaal Wilkes, born as Jackson Keith Wilkes to a Baptist minister, is a retired professional basketball player captivating audiences through the ‘70’s and ‘80’s. Wilkes was born in 1953 in Berkeley, California and raised in Ventura, California. In high school, he was the student body president and the star of the basketball team. While his family relocated during his high school career due to his father becoming the pastor of a different church, Wilkes ultimately retired his number from both of the high schools he attended. He went on to become a UCLA Bruin and after excelling there, was selected as the eleventh overall pick in the 1974 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors. As a small forward and a power forward in the NBA, Wilkes played for the Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers throughout his eleven-season career. His number 52 jersey was retired both by UCLA and the Los Angeles Lakers. Racking up a grand total of over 14,600 points and over 5,100 rebounds throughout his career, Wilkes contributed immensely to the game of basketball. Post retirement, he became a highly sought out motivational speaker and even co-authored an inspirational book entitled, “Success Under Fire: Lessons For Being Your Best in Crunch Time.”
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