Hall of Fame
CLASS OF 2018
He was the heart and soul of a team that played above the rim and turned college basketball upside down in the early 1980s. And that was just the start.
Born in Nigeria, Hakeem Olajuwon came to Houston to play for legendary University of Houston coach Guy V. Lewis and became the leader of a team known as Phi Slama Jama, the world’s tallest fraternity. Lewis was the only one to recruit Olajuwon, who redshirted his first year because he didn’t have clearance from the NCAA.
Hakeem Olajuwon speaks with media on the "Red Carpet" at the inaugural Houston Sports Awards in 2018.
After a summer of working out with and playing against pros like future NBA Hall of Famer Moses Malone at Houston’s Fonde Recreation Center, Olajuwon blossomed, and it wasn’t long until the Cougars were slam-dunking from everywhere.
The 2018 Houston Sports Awards was the first time all Hakeem Olajuwon, Earl Campbell and Nolan Ryan were in the same room at the same time.
Olajuwon led UH to three consecutive Final Four appearances but left after his junior year and entered the draft believing that the Houston Rockets would win the coin flip for the No. 1 choice in the 1984 draft. He was right.
Watch Hakeem Olajuwon's "Red Carpet" interview with Julia Morales Clark at the 2018 Houston Sports Awards
The Rockets made him the No. 1 pick, and Olajuwon went on to become one of the greatest players in NBA history, earning the nickname The Dream and leading the Rockets to back-to-back NBA titles in 1994 and 1995.
Watch Hakeem Olajuwon being honored at the 2018 Houston Sports Awards.
In 1993-94, he had a storybook season, becoming the first player to be named NBA MVP, NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and NBA Finals MVP in the same season. His incredible fakes and spin-moves under the basket – including his signature Dream Shake – made him almost unstoppable. In 18 NBA seasons, Hakeem averaged 21.8 points per game and was a 12-time all-star.
Hakeem Olajuwon with his plaque on the Walk of Fame in Downtown Houston.
Hakeem Olajuwon and Earl Campbell on the Walk of Fame when their plaques were unveiled.
Hakeem Olajuwon meets with the media at the 2018 Hall of Fame Day at the Houston House of Blues.
Hakeem Olajuwon was honored on stage at the 2018 Houston Sports Awards by several former teammates from Phi Slamma Jama and the Houston Rockets.
Hakeem Olajuwon, Nolan Ryan and Earl Campbell on stage at the inaugural Houston Sports Awards in 2018 when the launch of the Houston Sports Hall of Fame was announced and that the legendary "34's" would be the first class inducted.