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Hakeem Encyclopedia A-B

Join rockets.com as we celebrate the career of one of the greatest centers the game has ever known, Hakeem Olajuwon, with this special Hakeem A-Z encyclopedia. Be sure to check back each week as we continue to bring you notes and exclusive photos from Olajuwon's illustrious career.


Akeem - The original spelling of his first name. He was born Akeem Abdul Olajuwon, but decided to change it to the proper Arabic spelling when he became more serious about his religion. He officially announced the changing of his name to "Hakeem" March 9, 1991 after a game against the Philadelphia 76ers. "I'm not changing the spelling of my name, I correcting it," he explained to writers that night.

Aladura Comprehensive High School - Aladura, which means Church of Christ, was the missionary school that Hakeem's parents sent him to when he was 12. His parents tried to get him into a Muslim program, but Aladura was the only school available. He played goalkeeper and fullback during pickup soccer games.

All-American - Hakeem was named first-team All-American his junior season with the Houston Cougars after leading the NCAA in field goal percentage (.675), rebounds per game (13.5) and blocked shots per game (5.6).

All-Defensive - Hakeem prepares to give Robert Parish a facial
All-Defensive Team - Hakeem was selected to the All-NBA Defensive first team five times (1987-88, 1990, 1993-94). He has also made the second team on four occasions (1985, 1991, 1996-97).

All-NBA - Hakeem has been named to the All-NBA first team six times (1987-89, 1993-94, 1997). He also has been picked for the All-NBA second team three times (1986, 1990, 1996) and the third team on three occasions (1991, 1995, 1999).

Hakeem Dream Shakes in the 1985 NBA All-Star Game
All-Star - In 12 NBA All-Star appearances, Hakeem has averaged 9.8 points and 7.8 rebounds. He has been the starting center in eight of those contests, scoring a career-high 21 points in 1988. Hakeem shares All-Star single-game records for offensive rebounds (9) and most blocked shots in one half (4).

All-Time Leader - In total, Hakeem holds 26 Rockets regular season and postseason career records. He is the Rockets' all-time regular season leader in years played, games played, points, rebounds, defensive rebounds, offensive rebounds, steals, blocked shots, free throws made, free throws attempted, minutes played, field goals made and field goals attempted. He is the Rockets' all-time playoff leader in years, games played, minutes, points, scoring average, field goals made, field goals attempted, free throws made, free throws attempted, rebounds, assists, steals and blocked shots.

Alexander, Leslie - The current Houston Rockets owner who bought the team in 1993. In July 1996, Alexander signed Hakeem to a lucrative, long-term contract extension keeping him in a Rockets uniform until 2001. "One thing about Leslie is that he is an action man," Olajuwon said. "He wants to win, and he's willing to do whatever is necessary. When you have an owner like Leslie, you let him work and good things will follow."

Atrial Fibrillation - An abnormal rhythm in the upper chamber of the heart that can cause the heart to beat as fast as 400 times a minute. Hakeem was first diagnosed with this disorder in November of 1991.


Bank Olemoh - A street in the Surulere neighborhood in Lagos, where the house that Hakeem was raised in sits. The house is a one-story, three-bedroom red concrete house behind a small fenced-in courtyard.

Charles Barkley and Hakeem helped lead the Rockets to the 1997 Western Conference Finals
Barkley, Charles - Once stated before his Auburn Tigers took on the Houston Cougars in 1983 that the main reason he came to Houston was to dunk on Akeem Olajuwon. He and Olajuwon would meet again in two classic NBA playoff series. Olajuwon's Rockets beat Barkley's Phoenix Suns in the 1994 and 1995 Western Conference Semifinals by winning Game 7 in both series. In 1996, Barkley joined Olajuwon on the Rockets calling Hakeem "the most honorable player I have ever played with." Named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History and the Southeastern Conference's Player of the Decade (1980s).

Blocked Shots - Hakeem tells Danny Ferry to get that shot outta' here
Blocked Shots - Olajuwon is the NBA's all-time leader in blocked shots. Entering the 2000-01 season, he has rejected 3,652 shots.

Boston Celtics - The team that has won the most championships in NBA history (16). The Celtics claimed their last title by defeating Olajuwon and the Rockets in six games in the 1986 NBA Finals. On Jan. 18, 1996 against Boston, Olajuwon scored 51 points, the second-highest of his career.

Hakeem goes around Eric Montross for two of his 51 points on Jan. 18, 1996
Business Technology - Hakeem's major at the University of Houston.