WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBSNewYork) — President Barack Obama hosted his final Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony Tuesday, calling this year’s class of recipients “particularly impressive,” CBS News reported.
“We’ve got innovators and artists, public servants, rabble rousers, athletes, renowned character actors, like the guy from Space Jam,” the president said of Michael Jordan. “We pay tribute to those distinguished individuals with our nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”
Obama highlighted some of the honorees, including one notable name who had to wait outside the White House for a little while:
Joining Jordan was fellow basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Abdul-Jabbar told CBS News that it was his racial and religious identity, not his athleticism, that played a prominent role in his life.
Among the other 2016 recipients are Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, architect Frank Gehry, scientist Margaret Hamilton, “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels, Robert Redford, the first chairman of the FCC, Newt Minow, Bill and Melinda Gates, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, inventor Richard Garwin, and Vin Scully, according to CBS News.