Cheryl Pistono – The Influential Figure In Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Life!

Let me tell you about someone who might not be a household name, but she’s had a huge impact on the life of one of basketball’s greatest legends – Cheryl Pistono. Now, you might be wondering who Cheryl is and why she’s significant. 

Cheryl Pistono is a significant figure in the life of NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. She was his partner during the 1970s and 1980s, and they share a son named Amir. Pistono helped Abdul-Jabbar with things like how he behaves around others and how he leads.

In this article, we’ll dive into Cheryl Pistono’s life story, exploring her background, her relationship with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and the influence she’s had on his life.

What Do We Know About Cheryl Pistono’s Early Life And Background?

Cheryl Pistono’s early years are not well-known. She grew up in Illinois, but we don’t have much information about her family, where she went to school, or what she liked to do as a kid.

Before she met Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1977, not many people knew about Cheryl Pistono. Her life before that meeting is a bit of a mystery.

Even though we don’t know a lot about her early days, it’s clear that her meeting with Abdul-Jabbar changed things for both of them. Despite the lack of details about her past, Pistono played a big role in Abdul-Jabbar’s life.

How Did Cheryl Pistono Meet Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?

Meeting Kareem Abdul-Jabbar changed Cheryl Pistono’s life a lot. They met in 1977, and it was the start of a big relationship for both of them. We don’t know all the details about how they met, but it seems like Cheryl wasn’t really into sports at first. She probably met Kareem through her interest in Buddhism.

Even though Cheryl Pistono wasn’t really into sports, everyone knew Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a big deal in basketball. At first, Pistono didn’t realize who he was when they met because she wasn’t familiar with famous sportspeople. But as they spent more time together, they grew closer, even though Pistono wasn’t into sports at first. Their bond became stronger over time, going beyond Abdul-Jabbar’s fame and Pistono’s initial disinterest in sports.

Cheryl Pistono once shared a story about when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar gave her a rose from his garden to show he cared about her. Even though she wasn’t sure about his fame and didn’t want to upset him, she tried to make him laugh and be friends with him.

Even though Cheryl Pistono and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were different, they became close. Pistono helped Abdul-Jabbar with more than just sports. She helped him become a better leader and friend to others. Even after they broke up in 1985, they still cared about each other a lot. This shows how strong their friendship was, even after they stopped being romantic partners.

What Impact Did Cheryl Pistono Have On Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?

Cheryl Pistono had a big impact on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Even though she wasn’t into sports like he was, she still helped him a lot with things like being a good leader, getting along with people, and understanding himself better.

Cheryl Pistono had a big impact on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar because she saw things differently from him. She wasn’t really into sports like he was, so she could give him advice from a different angle. This probably helped him learn new things and deal with being famous and successful.

Furthermore, Cheryl Pistono is believed to have assisted Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in getting better at leading others and being a good teammate and listener. Her advice and encouragement probably helped Abdul-Jabbar do well not just in basketball but also in other parts of his life. Additionally, Pistono’s influence also affected Abdul-Jabbar’s relationships with his family, friends, and coworkers.

What Did Cheryl Pistono Do After Her Relationship With Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Ended?

Following her split with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1985, Cheryl Pistono embarked on a new chapter in her life. She married Steven Jenkins, though details about their relationship and life together are not widely publicized. Despite the end of her relationship with Abdul-Jabbar, Pistono continued to maintain a close relationship with him, particularly as they co-parented their son, Amir, who was born in 1984.

After Cheryl Pistono and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar parted ways, not much is known about what she did next. Some say she lives in Los Angeles and works for herself, but exactly what she does is unclear. She prefers to keep her life private, so we don’t know much about her job or what she’s been up to since then.

Despite her significant influence on Abdul-Jabbar’s life, Pistono’s own journey remains largely private. 

What Is Known About Cheryl Pistono’s Life Before Meeting Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?

Details about Cheryl Pistono’s life before meeting Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are relatively scarce. She hails from Illinois, but specific information about her upbringing, family background, education, and career before encountering Abdul-Jabbar is limited. Prior to their meeting in 1977, Pistono lived a relatively private life with little public documentation or recognition.

It’s known that Pistono turned to Buddhism before meeting Abdul-Jabbar, suggesting a spiritual or philosophical interest prior to their relationship. However, the extent of her involvement in Buddhism or any other aspects of her life before crossing paths with Abdul-Jabbar remains largely undisclosed.

Overall, Cheryl Pistono’s life before meeting Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is characterized by a lack of detailed information, as she maintained a low profile and prioritized privacy. The focus of public discourse surrounding Pistono primarily centres on her relationship with Abdul-Jabbar and the subsequent impact she had on his life.


1. Did Cheryl Pistono and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ever get married?

No, Cheryl Pistono and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar never got married. Despite their significant relationship, they chose not to formalize their union through marriage.

2. How did Cheryl Pistono and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar meet?

Cheryl Pistono and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar met in 1977, reportedly through their mutual involvement in Buddhism. Their meeting marked the beginning of a relationship that would span several years and have a profound impact on both of their lives.

3. What prompted Cheryl Pistono to encourage Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to get a divorce?

Cheryl Pistono reportedly encouraged Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to get a divorce from his ex-wife, Habiba, after spending four years apart from her. While the exact reasons behind this decision are not widely known, it suggests the depth of their relationship and Pistono’s influence on Abdul-Jabbar’s life choices.

4. How did Cheryl Pistono contribute to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s leadership skills?

Cheryl Pistono is believed to have played a significant role in shaping Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s leadership skills. Reports suggest that she helped him improve his abilities as a teammate and listener, emphasizing the importance of effective communication and interpersonal relationships.


Cheryl Pistono may not be a household name, but her impact on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s life cannot be understated. From their initial meeting in 1977 to their enduring friendship and co-parenting journey, Pistono has left an indelible mark on one of basketball’s greatest icons. 

While her life remains largely private, her influence on Abdul-Jabbar serves as a testament to the profound connections that can shape our lives.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button