April 7, 2008
HOUSTON - Former University of Houston center Hakeem Olajuwon earned his sport's highest honor Monday when he was announced as an inductee for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Olajuwon joined Patrick Ewing, Adrian Dantley, Pat Riley, Cathy Rush, Dick Vitale and Bill Davidson in the seven-member class. The announcement was made Monday in San Antonio, site of the NCAA Men's Final Four.
A three-year letterwinner from 1981-84, Olajuwon was one of the most dominant players in UH history. He was named a consensus All-American in 1983-84 after helping lead the Cougars to a 32-5 overall record and its second straight NCAA Championship game appearance.
He was honored as the Most Valuable Player at the 1983 NCAA Final Four after recording a combined 41 points and 40 rebounds against Louisville and NC State.
That season, he became only the second player in NCAA history to lead the nation in two statistical categories, finishing with a .675 field-goal percentage and 13.5 rebounds per game.
By the time that his career had finished, he had amassed 1,332 points and 1,067 rebounds, making him only the second player in school history to record at least 1,000 boards.
During his career, he led the Cougars to a combined 88-16 record with three appearances in the NCAA Final Four.
However, his college career was only the beginning. After being selected by the Houston Rockets with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1984 NBA draft, Olajuwon began an 18-year professional career. He set an NBA record with 3,830 career blocked shots and finished as one of only eight players to record more than 20,000 points and 12,000 rebounds.
In 1994 and 1995, he led the Rockets to back-to-back NBA championships and was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player both seasons.
A 12-time All-Star, Olajuwon also was recognized as the NBA Most Valuable for his impressive performance throughout the 1993-94 season. He was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history.
To be inducted, a Finalist needed 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election. The Class of 2008 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Mass., on Sept. 4-6.
Ticket packages to the 2008 Enshrinement Gala and all Enshrinement Weekend events are on sale now and available by calling the Hall of Fame at (413) 781-6500. Additional Enshrinement Weekend information can be found at HoopHall.com.