Here's how he's quoted in the Los Angeles Times:
"I loved school, loved UCLA," Abdul-Jabbar says. "I remember, in an English class taught by a Mr. Lindstrom, we were asked to do essays and he said he would read the best three to the entire class. He read the first two, then said he was going to read the best one, and it was mine.
"It was right then that I thought maybe I could do this, that maybe I had what it takes."He also played at UCLA for John Wooden, always more English teacher than coach."We'd sit on the bus and talk about when to use a colon and when a semicolon," Abdul-Jabbar says. "We'd argue the difference between "like" and "as if."