He was formerly known as Akeem Olajuwon, Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon, an American former professional basketball player, but of Nigerian origin, who, in his glory days, played for the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors from 1984 to 2002 in the NBA. His goodness in the game earned him the soubriquet ‘The Dream,’ a name he bore for almost the entirety of his basketball career after his coach said it “looked like a dream,” seeing him dunk so effortlessly.
Olajuwon was born on 21st January 1963; he traveled far from his hometown Lagos in Nigeria to play for the University of Houston. He performed well and was drafted by the Houston Rockets as the first pick in the NBA Draft of 1984. A draft also saw some of the other legends of basketball, the likes of Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and John Stockton. Olajuwon combining with Ralph Sampson, both formed a duo that shocked the game and was famously known as the ‘Twin Towers’ and led the Rockets to 1986 NBA Finals where, sadly, they lost to the Boston Celtics in 6 games. In 1988 Sampson departed, breaking the unbreakable duo and leaving Olajuwon to carry the team on his shoulder, then he became the undisputed leader of the Rockets.
Like dreams come through, in the 1993-94 NBA season, Olajuwon became the only player in the history of the NBA to take home three individual trophies. winning the MVP, NBA Defensive Player of the Year and Finals MVP award, a height no one has touched its stepping stone. He led the Houston Rockets to back-to-back championships against Patrick Ewing’s New York Knicks in 1994 and Shaquille O’Neal’s Orlando Magic in 1995.
Olajuwon is arguably one of the best centers to have ever touched the hardwood. He’s trophies, and individual achievements speak a lot for him, He is a 2-time NBA champion, 2-time NBA Finals MVP, 1994 Most Valuable Player, 2-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, 12-time All-Star, 6-time All-NBA First Team, and a 5-time NBA All-Defensive First Team. He led the league in rebounding twice (1989, 1990) and blocks three times (1990, 1991, 1993). He ended his career in a grand style, leaving as a living legend, keep a record of 3830, the leagues all-time highest. He is also one of the four players ever in NBA history to have achieved a quadruple-double.
Hakeem won an Olympic Gold Medal as a member of the United States national team in 1996 and was also selected as one of the 50 greatest players in NBA History. He was welcomed to the league of Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008 and was inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2016.