NBA Honors Hakeem Olajuwon With Re-Naming of Defensive POY Award

NBA Hall of Famer and Rockets great Hakeem Olajuwon gets trophy named after him.
NBA Hall of Famer and Rockets great Hakeem Olajuwon gets trophy named after him. Photo by Marco Torres
Houstonians know that Hakeem Olajuwon was one of the greatest players in basketball history. And while we all remember the Dream Shake and incredible offensive moves, it was defense that became his calling card. He still holds the record for blocked shots (3,830) and ranks ninth in steals (2,162), an incredible feat for a center.

On Tuesday, the Rockets announced that the NBA will rename its Defensive Player of the Year Award The Hakeem Olajuwon Trophy in honor of The Dream's outstanding defensive play throughout his career. He was the Defensive Player of the Year twice, was on the NBA All-Defensive First Team five times and Second Team twice.

The Hall of Fame center is still a fixture at Rockets games, working with young big men like Alperen Sengun on their post moves. He has also been a regular at University of Houston games where he went to two straight Final Fours before being drafted by the Rockets in 1984. His number hangs in the rafters of Toyota Center along with the two championship banners he helped the team win.

He is a sports icon in Houston and this honor is well deserved. 
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke