Member of Basketball Hall of Fame
Hakeem Olajuwon is considered one of the most dominant centers in the history of the National Basketball Association. He spent 18 seasons in the NBA, winning back-to-back NBA Championships (1994 and 1995) with the Houston Rockets and ending his career with the Toronto Raptors. The pinnacle of his career was in 1994 when he became the only player ever to garner the NBA Finals MVP, League MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. He was again named the Finals MVP a year later following his second consecutive NBA title.
“The Dream” was the first overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets in a class that included Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and John Stockton. In his rookie season, Olajuwon made an immediate impact for the Rockets averaging 20.6 points, 11.9 rebounds and 2.68 blocked shots per game. He led the league in rebounding in 1989-90 and in 1990, 1991 and 1993 led league in blocked shots. The twelve-time NBA All-Star was a five-time All-Defensive team selection, six-time All-NBA first team selection, three-time All-NBA second team selection and ended his career as the all-time leader in blocked shots with 3,830.
In 1996, Olajuwon helped the USA Men’s Basketball team capture the Olympic Gold Medal. After retiring from the game, Olajuwon had his Rockets #34 jersey officially retired. He was selected as one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players in 1996 and one of the 75 Greatest Players in 2022. In 2008, he was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
While at the University of Houston, Olajuwon teamed-up with future NBA Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler on the high-flying “Phi Slamma Jamma” squads, leading the Cougars to three NCAA Final Four appearances.
In 1995, Olajuwon founded the Dream Foundation charity based in Amman, Jordan providing social services through youth activities and sports.
The Lagos, Nigeria-native opened his first “Big Man” camp in 2006, instructing young basketball players good techniques for being a force on the in the paint on the hardwood.
In 1996, Olajuwon and Peter Knobler co-authored, “Living The Dream: My Life and Basketball”.
Olajuwon and his wife, Dalia Asafi, reside in both Houston and the UK. The couple has two daughters, Rahmah and Aisha and two sons, Abdullah and Abdul. Olajuwon also has daughter, Abisola Olajuwon, who was drafted by the Chicago Sky of the WNBA in 2010 and played for the Tulsa Shock in 2011.