LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar donated 900 pairs of safety goggles to UCLA Health Tuesday to help health care professionals stay protected on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Abdul-Jabbar took to Twitter saying he wants health care workers to have the same sense of safety that he had wearing eye protection during his 20-year career with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 72-year-old, dawning a pair of the goggles similar to the ones he wore throughout his career on the court, said in a video, in a video “I want to thank the doctors and nurses at UCLA for all that they are doing. You guys are awesome, risking your lives to help the public,” he
said.

“I would like to do my part, so I am going to use my influence and have my team source quality medical products, such as protective eyewear goggles like these. You guys should have all the best equipment while you’re on the front lines. Thank you for all you do.”

UCLA Health shared a photo of Dr. Eric Esrailian, who has been one of UCLA Health’s leaders in the effort to raise funds for supplies, equipment and research during the COVID-19 pandemic, accepting the donation from Abdul-Jabbar.

Abdul-Jabbar responded to the tweet saying, “I’m a Bruin through and through and I’m glad to lend any help that I can to the medical community who is doing everything they can to save lives — we appreciate you & we are with you !!!”

Last week, Abdul-Jabbar tweeted, “Let’s work on improving ourselves and focus on staying positive and healthy. I’m proud to represent UCLA Health and I want to share some advice Coach use to give us. Coach Wooden used to always say: ‘Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.'”

Esrailian has also created two COVID-19 funds: one to help patients and a second to help first responders.

“On behalf of UCLA Health, I am honored and grateful to accept the generous donation of protective goggles from our friend, the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,” Esrailian said.

“We are incredibly grateful for the recent outpouring of financial support and donations of supplies during this unprecedented time.”

On Monday, Abdul-Jabbar donated 900 pairs of safety goggles to Scripps Health in San Diego.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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