Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Joins Cast of ABC's Competitive Diving Series SPLASH
As announced on "Good Morning America" this morning, the final two celebrity contestants joining the cast of SPLASH (formerly titled "Celebrity Diving") are the NBA's all-time leading scorer and New York Times best-selling author Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and extreme skier Rory Bushfield. The two celebrities will be diving into the pool with previously announced cast members Louie Anderson, Drake Bell, Chuy Bravo, Nicole Eggert, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Ndamukong Suh, Katherine Webb and Kendra Wilkinson.
"Splash" marks the first time 10 celebrities will train and compete in regulation platform and springboard diving at dizzying heights in front of a weekly poolside audience. Each week the celebrities will look fear in The Face as they leap off the 10-meter high dive, pair off to complete synchronized stunts, and flip, twist and spin into the depths of the pool below. Leading up to the competition, the world's most decorated and medaled diving legend, Greg Louganis, will give each celebrity weeks of training. Each dive will be critiqued by the judges, London Olympic U.S. Gold medalist David Boudia and Australian Olympic athlete and USA Dive Team director Steve Foley. "Splash" premieres TUESDAY, MARCH 19 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on The ABC Television Network.
As announced this morning, the final two contestants joining the "Splash" cast are:
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of basketball's greatest players. The 7-foot-2 Hall of Fame center, famous for his indefensible skyhook, dominated the NBA for 20 years and is the NBA's All-Time Leading Scorer with 38,387 points. Prior to his stellar professional career, Kareem led the UCLA Bruins to three consecutive NCAA championships and was named the only player in the 75-year history of the NCAA to be named the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament three years in row. Today Kareem's leadership skills have taken on a new direction. In addition to being a New York Times best-selling author and award-winning filmmaker, he also believes education issues should be a critical focus in the US and around the globe. In 2012 Kareem was named a U.S. Cultural Ambassador by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and he has been named California's STEM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) Afterschool Ambassador. He has also been honored by the NBA with his own 16' tall bronze statue at Staples Center, Los Angeles, memorializing his contributions to the city and his team with his signature skyhook. Having been diagnosed with Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CML) in 2008, Kareem has also become a passionate cancer advocate, speaking across the country to others about his cancer journey. He is currently writing three new children's books for Disney's Hyperion, based on a basketball street gang, which will publish later this year. A regular contributing columnist for ESPN.com and the Huffington Post, Kareem is the recipient of two prestigious 2013 NAACP Image Awards, one for best documentary for his film, "On the Shoulders of Giants - The Story of the Greatest Team You've Never Heard Of," and the other for best children's book for "What Color is My World." For information go to www.kareemabduljabbar.com.
RORY BUSHFIELD -- Rory "Bushy" Bushfield, the 29-year-old extreme skiing air-hound from just outside Calgary, Alberta, has a very simple philosophy -- get low, go big, and stomp. Refreshingly modest and personable, Rory lets his actions speak louder than his words, a trait he showcases in the impressive extreme skiing film segments he produces each season. He now resides in Squamish, BC, where he shreds the backcountry on a daily basis, continually progressing his Style and pushing the skiers around him. In addition to filming award winning ski segments with top film companies such as Teton Gravity Research, Matchstick Productions and Sherpas Cinema, Rory also recently joined the cast of Travis Pastranas' Nitro Circus Live Tour, where he performs in front of sold out audiences across the world. A true outdoorsman, when he's not skiing or filming, Rory spends his days mountain biking, surfing, base jumping, building things, fixing things and flying his plane. In 2011 he married his longtime girlfriend, fellow pro skier Sarah Burke. He proposed by spelling out "Marry Me Sarah" in rocks in a remote snow covered field outside of Whistler and flew Sarah over the field so that she could see it. Sarah was the best female freeskier of all time, a 4x Winter X Games Gold Medalist, and one of the main forces for Ski Halfpipe's inclusion in the 2014 Winter Olympics. She tragically passed away in January 2012 due to a fall in the halfpipe during training.
"Splash" is from Eyeworks USA and is based on the breakout hit and Dutch format, "Celebrity Splash." The series is executive-produced by JD Roth, Todd A. Nelson, Brant Pinvidic and Josh Greenberg.
About Eyeworks USA
Eyeworks USA (formerly 3 Ball Productions), run by CEOs and executive producers JD Roth and Todd A. Nelson, is one television's most prolific producers of reality and non-fiction programming, both for broadcast and cable, producing shows grounded in the ability of people to make real change and transform their lives. In addition to "Splash," Eyeworks USA produces for ABC the franchise "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition," which will air its third season in 2013. Roth and Nelson are also known for their award-winning franchise "The Biggest Loser," now in Season 14 on NBC. Other hit series include" Flying Wild Alaska," in Season 3 for Discovery; "Bar Rescue," in Season 3 for Spike; "My Cat from Hell," in Season 4 for Animal Planet; and "LA Hair," in Season 2 for WE TV, with Eyeworks' new series, "Fat Girl Revenge," launching on Oxygen in 2013. Other long-running, genre-creating Eyeworks USA franchises include the worldwide hit "Beauty and the Geek" (which ran for six seasons in the U.S.); the ground-breaking "For Love or Money" (which ran for four seasons on NBC); as well as "Breaking Bonaduce," "The Pick-Up Artist" and "Scott Baio is 45 and Single" (VH1), "Hammer Time" (A&E), "Fourth and Long" (Spike), "Groomer Has It" (Animal Planet) and the series that started the company, "Endurance," which ran for seven seasons on Discovery.
More On: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Drake Bell, Kendra Wilkinson, The Face, Greg Louganis, USA, ABC, Hillary Rodham Clinton.