Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tonya Harding, Josh Norman among all-star 'DWTS' cast

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Friday, April 13, 2018

Can a skyhook be worked into a cha-cha? How about a lift? Will a touchdown dance score big with the judges?

Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, former figure skater Tonya Harding and Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman are among the athletes -- past and present -- who will compete on Season 26 of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," it was announced Friday.

The first all-athlete season will premiere April 30 on ABC.

Abdul-Jabbar, 70, is the leading scorer in NBA history. He will be paired with dancer Lindsay Arnold, who won Season 25 with partner Jordan Fisher.

"I'm just looking forward to having some fun and have people see that I can dance a little bit," Abdul-Jabbar said. "...I saw some of my friends do this. Emmitt Smith, I know him. And I know Derek Fisher. They seemed to have a good time so I thought I'd try it."

He said he hopes his NBA experience will help him on the dance floor.

"Basketball doesn't transfer too well into dancing, but I enjoy it," Abdul-Jabbar said. "The things I did on the court will help inspire me."

Notre Dame junior Arike Ogunbowale, who hit the game-winning shots in both the semifinal and national championship games at the Women's Final Four, also will be competing. She will be paired with veteran "DWTS" dancer Gleb Savchenko.

"I have a lot of stuff going on with school. I still haven't caught up from the Final Four," Ogunbowale said of balancing "DWTS" training with classes. "But we're definitely going to have time to do it."

Others who will compete for the Mirrorball Trophy this season include former baseball star Johnny Damon, Olympic figure skaters Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu, softball player Jennie Finch, snowboarder Jamie Anderson and luger Chris Mazdzer.

"I really hope I'm not shy," joked the outspoken Rippon, who won a bronze medal for Team USA in Pyeongchang, South Korea. "I think ['DWTS' partner] Jenna [Johnson] is going to have her hands full, and I can't wait."

Norman, 30, will spend his offseason competing alongside Sharna Burgess and follows a long list of NFL competitors that includes former "DWTS" champions Emmitt Smith, Donald Driver, Hines Ward and Rashad Jennings.

Norman said his only dancing experience is "a two step, and that's it," but hopes his work ethic will help him advance.

"I think the drive of not giving up and wanting to win when the circumstances look down," Norman said of what NFL skills translate to the dance floor. "Trying to stay on top and a great work ethic. The work ethic is the main thing."

Harding will be dancing with Sasha Farber.Harding, 47, is a two-time Olympian who became a household name in 1994 because of the assault of fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan and whose story was the recent subject of the film "I, Tonya."

"Not knowing anything about real dancing, my strength is that, because I'm an athlete, I know what it takes to be the best that you can be," Harding said. "I'm definitely not 24 anymore so that's probably going to be a little bit of an obstacle, but I'm here to bring it.

"... Who wouldn't want to be a part of it? To be a part of something so wonderful is very honoring and humbling."

espnW special contributor LaParis Hawkins and ABC News contributed to this report.