Jamaal Wilkes (born
Jackson Keith Wilkes on May 2, 1953 in Berkeley,
California) is a retired American basketball player who played the small forward position and won four NBA championships with the
Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors.
was also a key player in the run of NCAA
accumulated during the John Wooden
of UCLA basketball
. Upon entering the
NBA in 1974
, Wilkes converted to
and legally changed his name to Jamaal
Abdul-Lateef, but retained his surname throughout his NBA career.
He has since reverted to usage of Jamaal Keith Wilkes in his
personal and professional life.
One of the smoothest, steadiest and most productive forwards to
ever play in the NBA (he possessed a deadly accurate jump shot from
the corner that Hall of Fame
announcer Chick Hearn
dubbed the "20
foot layup") Jamaal "Smooth as Silk" Wilkes won championships at
the scholastic, collegiate and professional levels.
an All-America Prep player at Santa Barbara High School (his
teammate Don Ford also played in the NBA
with the Lakers) in Santa Barbara, California.
As a two-time All-America at UCLA, Wilkes
teamed with Bill Walton
to bring UCLA
the 1972 and 1973 NCAA titles, and a third place finish in 1974. As
a Bruin, Wilkes was part of UCLA teams that won a record 88
consecutive games. In three years at UCLA, Wilkes averaged 15.0 ppg
and 7.4 rpg and shot 51.4 percent from the field, and was also
named to the 1972 NCAA All-Tournament Team and was a first-team
Academic All-America in 1972, 1973, and 1974.
In March 2007, he was inducted into the Pac-10 Men's Basketball
Hall of Honor. In an interview with the New York Post
in 1985 and in several public
speaking engagements, legendary coach Wooden stated, when asked to
describe his ideal player: “I would have the player be a good
student, polite, courteous, a good team player, a good defensive
player and rebounder, a good inside player and outside shooter. Why
not just take Jamaal Wilkes and let it go at that."
In 12 professional seasons with the Golden State Warriors
, Los Angeles Lakers
, and Los Angeles Clippers
, Wilkes was a
member of four NBA championship teams - one with Golden State in
1975, the season he was named Rookie of the Year
- and three
with the Lakers (1980, 1982, 1985), though an injury prevented him
from playing in the 1985 NBA finals against the Boston Celtics
, yet the Lakers' won the
series in six games over the Celtics, 4-2.
For his career, Wilkes registered 14,664 points (17.7 ppg) and
5,117 rebounds (6.2 rpg), averaging 16.1 ppg in 113 postseason games
. He played in the 1976, 1981,
and 1983 All-Star Game
and was named to the NBA All-Defensive Team twice. The Sporting News
named Wilkes to its NBA
All-Pro Second Team three years.
Along with being one of the co-authors behind the book and audio
course, “SuccessUnder Fire: Lessons For Being Your Best In Crunch
Time”, Wilkes became a highly sought after motivational speaker for
national organizations and Fortune 500 corporations. Upon his
retirement from the NBA, he worked in the real estate and financial
services industries in the last 22 years. In 2003, along with
business partner Liza Wayne, he founded Jamaal Wilkes Financial
, a firm specializing in wealth management
a long-time resident of Playa Del Rey, where Lakers owner Jerry
Buss and coach Phil Jackson, as
well as other Lakers and Clippers players also reside.
has two sons and a daughter. His oldest son, Omar, graduated from the
University of California at
Berkeley where he played as shooting guard (6'4") for the basketball
team.His youngest, Jordan, is a sophomore center (7'0") for the same college,while
only daughter Sabreen, graduated from UCLA in 2005 (also playing
volleyball for the college), went on to
pursue a modeling and acting career.
Wilkes himself made his
future-film debut as Nathaniel "Cornbread" Hamilton in the 1975
basketball-themed drama, Cornbread, Earl and Me
, Rosalind Cash
and Bernie Casey
. The film also marked the
on-screen debut of actor Laurence
, who was 12 years old at the time.
- Omar Wilkes Cal profile
- Jordan Wilkes Cal profile