Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has quadruple bypass surgery

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA's all-time leading scorer, is expected to make a full recovery after undergoing quadruple coronary bypass surgery on his 68th birthday Thursday at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, the UCLA Health System announced in a statement Friday.

Abdul-Jabbar was admitted there this week with cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Richard Shemin, UCLA's chief of cardiac surgery, performed the operation.

"At this time, Abdul-Jabbar would like to thank his surgical team and the medical staff at UCLA, his alma mater, for the excellent care he has received," the statement read.

"He is looking forward to getting back to his normal activities soon. He asks that you keep him in your thoughts and, most importantly, cherish and live each day to its fullest."

During his 20-year NBA career, Abdul-Jabbar was a six-time MVP, six-time NBA champion and 19-time All-Star. He is the NBA's all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points.

He was drafted first overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 and played six seasons with them before being traded in 1975 to the Los Angeles Lakers, where in his 14 seasons in purple and gold he further established himself as one of the most dominant players in the history of the game.