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Hakeem Encyclopedia H-K

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.


Hamstring - Hakeem said his was hurt. The Rockets said it wasn't hurt and that he was just trying to get a contract extension. The team spent the summer of 1992 trying to move Olajuwon despite new Head Coach Rudy Tomjanovich's objections. During the NBA's offseason, Olajuwon was rumored to be going to the Clippers, Heat, Pistons, Knicks, Magic and SuperSonics. The strained relationship between Olajuwon and the Rockets started to be repaired when Hakeem and Rockets owner Charlie Thomas sat together during a 14-hour plane flight to Japan, where the Rockets were opening the 1993 NBA season against Seattle. After returning to the United States, Olajuwon signed a four-year contract extension to remain in Houston.

Hajj - The pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, which every adult Muslim who is physically and financially able must make at least once in his or her lifetime. About 2,000,000 persons perform the hajj each year, and the rite serves as a unifying force in Islam by bringing followers of diverse backgrounds together in religious celebration. Hakeem's first pilgrimage was in 1991.

Houston - The largest city in the state of Texas, which was founded by brothers Augustus and John Allennear. The city has been the home of Hakeem Olajuwon since October 1980 when he arrived at the University of Houston looking for a basketball scholarship. He was then drafted by the hometown Houston Rockets in the 1984 NBA Draft and eventually led them to two NBA titles in 1994 and 1995. The titles were the first major sports championships for the city of Houston.

Houston Rockets - The NBA team that has made Houston its home since 1971 after being founded in San Diego in 1967. San Diego Rockets owner Robert Breitbard almost moved the team to Omaha, Nebraska, but ended up selling it to Texas Sports Investments, who moved the Rockets to Houston. In 1984 the Rockets drafted Hakeem Olajuwon and he has spent his entire NBA career in a Houston uniform.


Ice Cream - Hakeem's favorite food at UH. A small refrigerator in his dorm room was always full of ice cream. He enjoyed vanilla and strawberry ice cream. It was also common to see Hakeem walking acorss the UH campus with a cooler that contained Dixie Cups and Nutty Buddies.

Islam - a major world religion; it was promulgated by the Prophet Muhammed in Arabia in the 7th century AD; illuminates the fundamental religious idea of Islam - that the believer, called a Muslim, accepts "surrender to the will of Allah (Arabic: God)." The will of Allah, to which man must submit, is made known through the sacred scriptures, the Qur'an (Koran), which Allah revealed to his messenger, Muhammed. Hakeem rediscovered his roots by starting to practice Islam again.


Join - Hakeem joined with Clyde Drexler to become just the third teammate duo in NBA playoff history to each score 40+ points in the same game during Game 4 of the 1995 Western Conference First Round vs. Utah.


Kaka, Yemi - Hakeem's older half-brother, who won a scholarship from the Nigerian government to study abroad in England. Fourteen years older than his younger brother, he was Hakeem's primary advisor. Yemi taught him the three Olajuwon family rules: "One: Face your studies squarely; Two: Keep away from bad friends; Three: Stay calm, collected."

Kingdome - A domed stadium in Seattle, Washington where the UH Cougars lost to the Georgetown Hoyas in the 1984 NCAA championship. The Kingdome was demolished in 2000 to make way for a new stadium.

Kirkpatrick, Terence - A University of Houston assistant coach, who went by the nickname Coach T. He was assigned by UH Head Coach Guy Lewis to be Hakeem's guide when he first came to Houston. Kirkpatrick eventually became Hakeem's legal guardian because Hakeem was only 17 years old and could not enroll into college without a guardian. He convinced Hakeem to stay at UH after the 1983 season and not go into the 1983 NBA Draft. He died in 1992.