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Kimball teams with Wilkins on diabetes awareness

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 15, 2014 at 5:45 pm •  Published: August 15, 2014
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WEST ALLIS, Wis. (AP) — Basketball Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins plans to take a spin around an IndyCar track.

Just don't expect his 6-foot-8 frame to fit snugly into one of those open-wheeled cockpits.

It's no career change for Wilkins, just a visit this weekend to the Milwaukee Mile ahead of Sunday's race and part of an effort to promote diabetes awareness along with driver Charlie Kimball.

Both Wilkins and Kimball have diabetes, and both serve as spokesman for Novo Nordisk, which also sponsors Kimball's No. 83 car.

"The biggest thing is to raise awareness," Kimball said. "Coupling that with being an NBA Hall of Famer, he brings a lot of (attention) to the topic."

For more than his height, too.

"Too tall to fit in a race car for sure, but can definitely be part of a pit crew," Kimball joked this week.

Wilkins' schedule Saturday calls for a ride in the pace car with Kimball driving. He'll also be spending time in the pits.

It will be a far different meeting from their usual encounters, pacing the halls of Congress to meet with senators and representatives about diabetes awareness. Wilkins was diagnosed in 2000 with Type 2 diabetes, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says accounts for 90 to 95 percent of diabetes cases. It is associated with older age, obesity, inactivity and family history.

"The thing is to continue to educate people about diet and exercise," Wilkins said in a phone interview. "From a racing standpoint, this is my first time."

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