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NBA Hall of Famer, two-time slam dunk champion and nine-time NBA All-Star Dominique Wilkins was nicknamed “The Human Highlight Film” for his reel-worthy acrobatic feats on the court with the Atlanta Hawks. He’s played against some of the league’s most formidable players, but met his biggest opponent off the court.

At the age of 40, shortly after retiring from the NBA, Wilkins received an unexpected type 2 diabetes diagnosis. “It was a big surprise because I went to the doctor, really, for no particular reason. I hadn’t been there in a while and when he did his test and told me that I was type 2 diabetic it was a major shock,” Wilkins shared in a recent video interview with

Wilkins, now 54, lost both his father and grandfather to the disease. As an elite athlete, Wilkins may not be the usual ‘face’ of diabetes, but he is part of the 13.2 percent of all African Americans aged 20 and older who have been diagnosed with the disease.

Although the diagnosis was difficult to accept at first, it ignited his passion for educating and spreading awareness about diabetes. As a living example of how to not only maintain but thrive with the diagnosis, Wilkins teamed up with Novo Nordisk to help change the way people think about living with diabetes.

Health & Wellness: Diabetes & Healthy Eating During The Holidays [VIDEO] was originally published on

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