Member of Basketball Hall of Fame & One of the Most Dominant Centers in the History of the NBA
Nigerian born basketball great, Hakeem Olajuwon, was born on January 21, 1963. Olajuwon played center for the Houston Rockets, whom he led to back-to-back championships in 1994 and 1995, and the Toronto Raptors. Long considered a physical marvel since his days at the University of Houston, his creative and productive play highlighted by his Houston…
Nigerian born basketball great, Hakeem Olajuwon, was born on January 21, 1963. Olajuwon played center for the Houston Rockets, whom he led to back-to-back championships in 1994 and 1995, and the Toronto Raptors. Long considered a physical marvel since his days at the University of Houston, his creative and productive play highlighted by his Houston Rockets’ back-to-back NBA titles earned him a place among the game’s best.
Olajuwon traveled from his home country of Nigeria to play collegiately for the University of Houston. Hakeem had a standout career for the Cougars alongside future NBA Hall of Fame player Clyde “The Glide” Drexler, which included three trips to the Final Four. Olajuwon was drafted by the Houston Rockets with the first overall selection of the 1984 NBA Draft, a draft that included Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and John Stockton. Olajuwon joined the Houston Rockets and was affectionately known as Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon. He combined with the 7 ft 4 in (2.24 m) Ralph Sampson to form what was dubbed the “Twin Towers” duo. The two led the Rockets to the 1986 NBA Finals where they lost in six games to the Boston Celtics.
After Sampson was traded to the Golden State Warriors in 1988, Olajuwon became the undisputed leader of the team. He led the league in rebounding twice (1989, 1990) and shot-blocking three times (1990, 1991, 1993). In the 1993-94 season he became the only player in NBA history to win the NBA’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), Defensive Player of the Year, and Finals MVP awards in the same season. His Rockets won back to back championships against The New York Knicks, avenging his college championship loss to Patrick Ewing, and Shaquille O’Neal’s Orlando Magic. In 1996, Olajuwon assisted in the gold medal-winning performance of the United States national team, and was selected as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. He ended his career the league’s all-time leader in blocked shots. Olajuwon is also the only NBA player ever to end his career in Top 10 for blocks (1st all-time) and steals (7th all-time).
Listed at 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) but closer to 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) by his own admission, Olajuwon is generally considered one of the five greatest centers to ever play the game, along with Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Shaquille O’Neal. Olajuwon is also a devout Muslim who observed Ramadan throughout his NBA career. He was reverentially nicknamed “Hakeem the Dream” for his grace on and off the court.
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. The following season he rallied the Rockets from a sixth seed in the playoffs to their second straight NBA crown, making Houston only the fifth NBA franchise ever to win back-to-back titles and earning him a place among the NBA’s all-time best. Olajuwon is the NBA s all-time leader with 3,459 career blocked shots and finished the 1998-99′ season ranked 11th, ahead of Jerry West, all-time for career points scored. Olajuwon is one of only eight players in NBA history with over 20,000 points and 12,000 rebounds in his career. He was selected in 1996 as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
A Conversation With Hakeem Olajuwon
1 HOUR OR LESS