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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar takes on a big job for a big man

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton looks up at the new global cultural ambassador and former NBA basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jan. 18. Abdul-Jabbar will travel the world to engage a generation of young people to help promote diplomacy.

NEW YORK -- The State Department appointed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar a global cultural ambassador on Wednesday.

Ann Stock, assistant secretary of state for education and cultural affairs, says Abdul-Jabbar will travel the world to engage a generation of young people to help promote diplomacy.

Prior to becoming an ambassador, Abdul-Jabbar was better known for being the National Basketball Association's all-time scoring leader, with 38,387 points during his 20-year career.

The Associated Press contributed to the report.

A photo of the Secretary of State with one of the NBA's champs is getting a lot of attention. NBC's Brian Williams reports.