Hakeem Olajuwon

  • Hakeem Olajuwon's birth

    Hakeem Olajuwon's birth
    Olajuwon is born to Salim and Abike Olajuwon, middle-class Yoruba owners of a cement business in the coast city Lagos, Nigeria on the 21st of January, 1963.
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    Hakeem Olajuwon's life from birth until recent years

    The life and career of Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon.
  • Olajuwon starts playing basketball

    Olajuwon starts playing basketball
    Akeem starts playing basketball at the age of 15. Olajuwon's high school, the Muslim Teachers College, was an entry in the basketball tournament at the All-Nigeria Teachers Sports Festival in Sokoto -- but Olajuwon was on the handball team. A fellow student approached the coach and asked if Olajuwon could play for the team. Permission was granted and a basketball superstar was born. [NOT EXACT DATE]
  • Olajuwon moves to the US and enrolls in the University of Houston

    Olajuwon moves to the US and enrolls in the University of Houston
    Olajuwon emigrated from Nigeria to play basketball at the University of Houston under Cougars coach Guy Lewis. He was not highly recruited. While there, he and his teammates (including Clyde Drexler) formed what was dubbed "Phi Slamma Jamma", the first slam-dunking "fraternity", so named because of its above-the-rim prowess. [NOT EXACT DATE]
  • The Cougars reach the Final Four

    The Cougars reach the Final Four
    Olajuwon played sparingly as a redshirt freshman in 1981–82, and the Cougars were eliminated in the Final Four by the eventual NCAA champion, North Carolina Tar Heels. [NOT EXACT DATE]
  • 1983 NCAA Tournament Player of the Year award

    Akeem Olajuwon of Houston was named the 1983 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player, becoming the last player to date to earn this award while playing for a team that failed to win the national title. [NOT EXACT DATE]
  • 1st overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft

    1st overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft
    Hoping to play professionally in his adopted home, Olajuwon elected to leave college a year early upon learning the Rockets would participate in the coin flip for the first overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft. Olajuwon became the second international player to be drafted first overall, after Mychal Thompson from The Bahamas in 1978.
    In the same draft, other Hall of Famers, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and John Stockton, were also drafted.
  • Olajuwon's 1st All-Star appearance

    Olajuwon's 1st All-Star appearance
    Olajuwon was named a reserve for the All-Star Game for the 1984-85 season. Olajuwon joined players such as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson. The West won 140 to 129, ending the East's streak of 5, and Olajuwon's teammate Ralph Sampson was named the game's MVP.
  • Runner-up in the NBA Rookie of the Year Award

    Runner-up in the NBA Rookie of the Year Award
    Olajuwon finished as runner-up to Michael Jordan in the 1985 Rookie of the Year voting, and was the only other rookie to receive any votes. [NOT EXACT DATE]
  • Olajuwon is named to the NBA All-Rookie Team

    Olajuwon, along with Michael Jordan, Sam Bowie, Charles Barkley and Sam Perkins made up the 1984-85 season NBA All-Rookie Team. [NOT EXACT DATE]
  • Olajuwon's 2nd All-Star appearance

    Olajuwon's 2nd All-Star appearance
    Olajuwon was named a reserve for the All-Star Game of the 1985-86 season. Olajuwon joined players such as Julius Erving, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson. The East won 139 to 132 and Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons was named the game's MVP.
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  • Olajuwon is featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated

    Olajuwon is featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated
    The Rockets won the conference round playoff series against the Lakers fairly easily, four games to one, shocking the sports world and landing Olajuwon on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
  • 1986 NBA Finals

    1986 NBA Finals
    The Celtics defeated the Rockets four games to two to win their 16th NBA championship.
  • Olajuwon's 3rd All-Star appearance

    Olajuwon's 3rd All-Star appearance
    Olajuwon was named a starter for the All-Star Game of the 1986-87 season. Olajuwon joined players such as Julius Erving, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson. The West won 154 to 149 in overtime and Tom Chambers of the Seattle SuperSonics was named the MVP. [NOT RELATED PICTURE]
  • Olajuwon's 4th All-Star appearance

    Olajuwon's 4th All-Star appearance
    Olajuwon was named a starter of the All-Star Game of the 1987-88 season. Olajuwon joined players such as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson. The East won 138 to 133 and Michael Jordan was named the game's MVP.
  • Olajuwon's 5th All-Star appearance

    Olajuwon's 5th All-Star appearance
    Olajuwon was named a starter for the All-Star Game of the 1988-89 season. Olajuwon joined players such as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Isiah Thomas, Patrick Ewing and Magic Johnson. The West won 143 to 134 and Karl Malone was named the game's MVP. The game took place at the Astrodome in Houston.
  • Hakeem's 6th All-Star appearance

    Hakeem's 6th All-Star appearance
    Olajuwon was named a starter for the All-Star Game of the 1989-90 season. Olajuwon joined players such as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, David Robinson, Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson. The East won 130 to 113 and Magic Johnson was named the game's MVP. [NOT RELATED PICTURE]
  • Olajuwon adopts the name "Hakeem"

    On March 9, 1991, he altered his name from Akeem to the proper Arabic spelling Hakeem, saying, "I'm not changing the spelling of my name, I'm correcting it". Olajuwon was still recognized as one of the league's elite centers despite his strict observance of Ramadan, which occurred during virtually every season of his career. Olajuwon was noted as sometimes playing better during the month, and in 1995 he was named NBA Player of the Month in February, Ramadan began on February the 1st that year.
  • Olajuwon's 7th All-Star appearance

    Olajuwon's 7th All-Star appearance
    Olajuwon was named a reserve for the All-Star Game of the 1991-92 season. Olajuwon joined players such as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, David Robinson, Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson. The West won 153 to 113 and Magic Johnson was named the game's MVP. The game is most remembered for the return of Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson, who retired before the 1991-92 NBA season after contracting HIV. [NOT RELATED PICTURE]
  • Olajuwon's 8th All-Star appearance

    Olajuwon's 8th All-Star appearance
    Olajuwon was named a reserve for the All-Star Game of the 1992-93 season. Olajuwon joined players such as Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, David Robinson, Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson. The West won 135 to 130 and Karl Malone and John Stockton were named the NBA All-Star Game co-MVPs. [NOT RELATED PICTURE]
  • Hakeem wins his 1st NBA Defensive Player of the Year award

    Hakeem wins his 1st NBA Defensive Player of the Year award
    Hakeem was named the 1992-93 Season Defensive Player of the Year. [NOT EXACT DATE]
  • Hakeem is featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated

    Hakeem is featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated
    Hakeem is featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, May 17th 1993.
  • Becomes a naturalized US citizen

    Becomes a naturalized US citizen
    Olajuwon became a naturalized American citizen after the 1993 season.
  • Olajuwon's 9th All-Star appearance

    Olajuwon's 9th All-Star appearance
    Olajuwon was named a starter for the All-Star Game of the 1993-94 season. Olajuwon joined players such as Dominique Wilkins, Shaquille O'Neal, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing and Gary Payton. The East won 127 to 118 and Scottie Pippen was named the game's MVP. [NOT RELATED PICTURE]
  • Hakeem wins a plethora of awards

    Hakeem wins a plethora of awards
    Olajuwon was at the pinnacle of his career. In 1994 he became the only player in NBA history to win MVP, Finals MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards in the same season. He was the first foreign-born player to win the league's MVP award. [NOT EXACT DATE]
  • Hakeem and the Rockets win their 1st championship

    Hakeem and the Rockets win their 1st championship
    This matchup was Hakeem Olajuwon's second NBA Finals series appearance, The Rockets came in with strong determination to win the franchise's first NBA championship, while the Knicks were looking to add a third NBA championship trophy, as the Knicks' last trophy came from the 1973 NBA Finals. The Rockets won four to three.
  • Hakeem is awarded the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player trophy

    Hakeem is awarded the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player trophy
    Olajuwon dominated Patrick Ewing in their head–to–head match-up, outscoring him in every game of the series and averaging 26.9 points per game on 50% shooting, compared to Ewing's 18.9 and 36.3%. For his efforts Olajuwon was named NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.
  • Olajuwon's 10th All-Star appearance

    Olajuwon's 10th All-Star appearance
    Olajuwon was named a starter for the All-Star Game of the 1994-95 season. Olajuwon joined players such as Reggie Miller, Shaquille O'Neal, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing and Gary Payton. The West won 139 to 112 and Mitch Richmond of the Sacramento Kings was named the game's MVP. [NOT RELATED PICTURE]
  • Hakeem and the Rockets win their 2nd championship

    Hakeem and the Rockets win their 2nd championship
    The pre-series hype and build-up of the Finals was centered around the meeting of the two centers Shaquille O'Neal of the Magic and Hakeem Olajuwon of the Rockets. Going into the series the matchup was compared to the Bill Russell-Wilt Chamberlain matchup of the 1960s. The Rockets swept the Magic four to zero.
  • Hakeem is awarded his 2nd NBA Finals MVP trophy

    Hakeem is awarded his 2nd NBA Finals MVP trophy
    Olajuwon outscored O'Neal in every game, scoring more than 30 points in each and raising his regular-season rate by five while O'Neal's production dropped by one. Olajuwon was again named Finals MVP. He averaged 10.3 rebounds, 2.81 blocks and 33 points per game on .531 shooting.
  • Olajuwon's 11th All-Star appearance

    Olajuwon's 11th All-Star appearance
    Olajuwon was named a starter for the All-Star Game of the 1995-96 season. Olajuwon joined players such as Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing and Gary Payton. The East won 129 to 118 and Michael Jordan was named the game's MVP. [NOT RELATED PICTURE]
  • Hakeem is named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History

    Hakeem is named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History
    The 50 Greatest Players in National Basketball Association History were chosen in 1996 to honor the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the NBA. These fifty players were selected through a vote by a panel of media members, former players and coaches, and current and former general managers. In addition, the top ten head coaches and top ten single-season teams in NBA history were selected by media members as part of the celebration.
  • Hakeem and Dream Team III win gold medal at the 1996 Summer Games

    Hakeem and Dream Team III win gold medal at the 1996 Summer Games
    For the second straight Olympic games, the American men's team composed entirely of NBA players won the gold medal. Olajuwon joined Dream Team III with the likes of Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal and David Robinson to dominate the games and win another gold medal. [NOT EXACT DATE]
  • Hakeem Olajuwon gets married

    Hakeem Olajuwon gets married
    Olajuwon married his current wife Dalia Asafi on August 8, 1996 in Houston. They have two daughters, Rahmah and Aisha Olajuwon. [NOT RELATED PICTURE]
  • Olajuwon's 12th and final All-Star appearance

    Olajuwon's 12th and final All-Star appearance
    Olajuwon was named a starter for the All-Star Game of the 1996-97 season. Olajuwon joined players such as Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Dikembe Mutombo and Gary Payton. The East won 132 to 120 and Glen Rice of the Charlotte Hornets was named the game's MVP. [NOT RELATED PICTURE]
  • Hakeem is traded to the Raptors

    Hakeem is traded to the Raptors
    On August 2, 2001, Olajuwon was traded to the Toronto Raptors for draft picks (the highest of which was used by Houston to draft Bostjan Nachbar at #15 in the 2002 NBA Draft), where he played his final NBA season, averaging career lows of 7.1 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, before retiring.
  • Olajuwon retires

    Olajuwon retires
    With elimination from the 2002 NBA Playoffs by the Detroit Pistonts, Olajuwon retires as the all–time league leader in total blocked shots with 3,830. Shortly after his retirement, his #34 jersey was retired by the Rockets.
    Olajuwon averaged 68.7 games a season, 35.7 mpg, 21.8 ppg, .512% fg, .712% ft, 11.1 rpg, 3.0 bpg and 2.5 apg. [NOT EXACT DATE] [NOT RELATED PICTURE]
  • Hakeem teaches Emeka Okafor

    Hakeem teaches Emeka Okafor
    Okafor bulked up after Year 1 and wound up breaking down. Now? After shedding the unneeded mass and continuing his offseason tutorials with Hakeem Olajuwon, Okafor is progressing like you expected after a Rookie of the Year season. "I don't know if he'll ever be [a franchise big man] offensively where you can just go to him on the block every time," says one West coach. "But defensively? He's already there." [NOT EXACT DATE]
  • Hakeem teaches Yao Ming

    Hakeem teaches Yao Ming
    Olajuwon showed Yao how to get into the lane from various spots and score using a single dribble.
    "If you get the ball here, they're in trouble," Olajuwon said. "You should score easily."
    The two had no more workouts planned, but both seemed eager to schedule another.
    "It was great, just to see that he has all the tools," Olajuwon said.
  • Rockets unveil a monument honoring Olajuwon

    Rockets unveil a monument honoring Olajuwon
    The 12-foot high, rectangular sculpture stands in front of the main entrance to the Toyota Center. It shows Olajuwon's No. 34 jersey with a basketball behind it and a paragraph below listing his NBA accomplishments.
  • Induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame

    Induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame
    Olajuwon was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2008 on September 5, 2008, along with names such as Patrick Ewing, Pat Riley and Dick Vitale.
  • Ranks #13 on SLAM Magazine's top 50 players

    Ranks #13 on SLAM Magazine's top 50 players
    Ranked #13 in SLAM Magazine's 2009 revision of the top 50 greatest players of all time (published in the August 2009 issue). [NOT EXACT DATE]
  • Hakeem teaches Kobe Bryant

    Hakeem teaches Kobe Bryant
    In September 2009, he worked with Kobe Bryant on post moves and the Dream Shake. [NOT EXACT DATE]