This is a picture of Hakeem Olajuwon's college jersey. Below it says: Where is Hakeem Olajuwon Now?

Hakeem Olajuwon Now: Still A Houston Legend!

Hakeem Olajuwon now lives in Houston. He has mostly stayed in Houston since retiring from the NBA in 2002. He also spent time in Jordan and England during his retirement. In addition to raising his family, Olajuwon has worked in real estate and coached NBA big men at his camps. 

Why Did Hakeem Olajuwon Leave Houston? 

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Hakeem Olajuwon Authentic Signed Red Pro Style Jersey Autographed JSA Witnessed
Hakeem Olajuwon Authentic Signed Red Pro Style Jersey – Available at Press Pass Collectibles

Hakeem Olajuwon had an incredible 20 year run playing basketball in Houston. 

He spent three years playing at the University of Houston after moving to the United States from his home country of Nigeria to further his basketball career. 

Olajuwon worked with the Houston Rockets center Moses “Big Mo” Malone after his freshman year to improve his game. He went on to become the Dream for the Cougars the next two seasons.

He and teammate Clyde Drexler led the University of Houston to back-to-back Final Fours where they lost to an NC State miracle and a dominant Georgetown team led by Patrick Ewing. 

Incredibly, the Houston Rockets won a coin flip for the number 1 pick in the 1984 Draft where they bypassed a guy named Jordan to take hometown hero Olajuwon. While it hurts to miss out on MJ, it’s hard to criticize a team for taking a player like the Dream. 

Hakeem went on to dominate for the Rockets for 17 seasons. He was a 12 x All Star, made 12 All NBA teams, 9 All NBA Defensive teams, won Defensive Player of the Year twice, was named to the 1996 Dream Team 3 and won two NBA Championships for the Rockets. 

During those twenty years, Olajuwon became what he still is today:  a Houston legend. That is why what happened at the end of the 2001 season was surprising. 

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Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon & Clyde Drexler Signed 16x20 Collage Photo JSA Witnessed
Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon & Clyde Drexler Signed  Photo – Available at Press Pass Collectibles

The Rockets traded Hakeem Olajuwon to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for some draft picks. To understand why it happened, you have to go back a few years.

After winning an NBA title together in 1995, Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler were eliminated the following year by a younger SuperSonics team featuring Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton.  

The next few seasons, the Rockets tried to hold off the end of the era by singing veterans and putting together a superteam. They did well for one season with the Round Mound of Rebound but were eliminated by the Utah Jazz who were led by the Mailman and his partner with the boring nickname: Stock. 

From there, Drexler retired and they added Scottie Pippen but it never quite worked. 

By 2000 the Rockets were under .500 and were looking to the Franchise, Steve Francis as the new star. He and Cuttino Mobely were the Rockets statistical leaders in the Dream’s last two seasons in Houston. 

By 2001, coming off back-to-back seasons of missing the playoffs, the Rockets wanted to focus on Mobely and Francis. But Hakeem was still looking for a longer-term deal at 38 years of age. 

The Rockets were unwilling to extend that long for Olajuwon, and he asked for, and was given, a trade. 

Father Time is undefeated: even the Dream reached the end. He played one forgettable season in Toronto  before calling an end to his NBA career at 39 years old. 

Where is Hakeem Olajuwon Living Now? 

After retiring from the NBA in 2002, Hakeem Olajuwon has mostly lived in Houston with some time spent in both England and Jordan. 

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Hakeem Poster


Olajuwon became more devout in his Islamic faith throughout his time in the NBA. One change that came from this devotion was the change in the spelling of his name, as he had been called Akeem Olajuwon for his college and early pro years.

Of the change, Olajuwon said  “I’m not changing the spelling of my name, I’m correcting it”. 

He read the Koran and deepened his belief system. Olajuown’s religion came to be at the center of his life. 

After retiring, Olajuwon decided to further his understanding of Islam by splitting time between Jordan, where he pursued Islamic studies, and the Houston area.

Houston Real Estate

The Dream owns a ranch outside Houston and retired to it after leaving the Raptors. He spent several years deepening his faith in Jordan and deepening his net worth in Houston.

Olajuwon became a real estate magnate in the Houston area in the years following his NBA retirement. He paid cash for all of his properties because Islam does not allow the paying or charging of interest. 

He did extremely well buying and selling properties. It is believed that the Dream made more than $100 million in real estate in the first several years of his retirement. 

Much like he did with basketball, Olajuwon became a student of the real estate game. He studies traffic patterns and maps of the area to help decide his next purchase. 

Big Man Camps

In addition to real estate, the Dream started spending time in Houston nearly every summer since 2006 helping NBA big men improve with his free Big Man Camps.

In the camps, Olajuwon tutors players on the finer points of post play. Many great big men have trekked to Houston to be coached by one of the all-time best pivots.

Olajuwon has coached players like Yao Ming, Amar’e Stoudemire and Dwight Howard.

The Dream says his best student was not one of those big men, however. Olajuwon says no one applied his teachings quite like Kobe Bryant, who came to learn more about playing with his back to the basket. 

Olajuwon continues working with players to this day. The Rockets tweeted out this video of a 59-year-old Dream working with young Rockets big man Alperen Sengun. 


In 2016, Olajuwon moved to England. The driving force for the move was that one of Olajuwon’s daughters had decided to attend college in the UK.

The Dream and his longtime wife Dalia Asafi moved with their other children to Birmingham to be close to her. Olajuwon also said he liked the idea of his other children getting some international exposure.

During his time in England, Olajuwon helped out with the Birmingham Basketball Club – much to the amazement of the local kids who were both thrilled and stunned to get to work with an NBA legend.

By 2019, Olajuwon and his family had returned full-time to the Houston area. 

Summary: Hakeem Olajuwon Now

Hakeem Olajuwon has spent time in England and Jordan since retiring but has mostly been based in Houston. He works some in real estate and coaches NBA big men at his free camps. Olajuwon has focused mainly on strengthening his Islamic faith and raising his family since his NBA career ended.

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