Claim to Fame: Basketball Player (Atlanta Hawks)
Date of Birth: January 12, 1960
Diabetes Type: 2
Quote: “Diabetes is not a roadblock, just an obstacle in the road.”
A legend in the NBA for nearly three decades, Dominique Wilkins has proven that one can perform physically at an astonishing level, regardless of diabetes.
Born in Paris, France, while his father was stationed there with the Air Force, Wilkins began to show his talents on the high school basketball team in his hometown of Washington, North Carolina. A 6'8'' forward, Wilkins was voted MVP during his team's championship games. His early fame would contribute to his star reputation as an athlete during his years at the University of Georgia.
While playing for the Georgia Bulldogs, Wilkins averaged a score of 21.6 points per game, ranking him the highest scorer in the team's history at the time. During his college career, Wilkins' incredible dunking abilities also inspired his lasting nickname, The Human Highlight Film.
After three years at the University of Georgia, Wilkins left school to enter the NBA draft in 1982. Although he was originally drafted to the Utah Jazz, Wilkins' will to stay in Georgia and the determination of Atlanta Hawks officials secured Wilkins a spot as a forward on the team.
Dominique Wilkins spent 12 years with the Hawks, setting numerous records in the process. During this period, Wilkins played on nine NBA All-Star teams, won two Slam Dunk contests, and set a Hawks all-time personal scoring record with 23,292 points.
Wilkins suffered an injury to his Achilles tendon during the 1991-1992 season, but he stayed with the Hawks until 1994 and played for four other NBA teams and two international competitions before his retirement in 1999.
In 2004, Wilkins received the position of Vice President to the Atlanta Hawks. In 2006, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and currently holds a league rank of ninth on the NBA's all-time scoring list.
Additionally, Wilkins offers his time to many charities, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Special Olympics, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the American Lung Association. Wilkins continues to educate and raise funds for the diabetes community as the Diabetes Ambassador to the state of Georgia.
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