Hakeem Olajuwon was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame about a month ago. Although I never knew Hakeem directly, I consider him an individual who had a profound impact on my life (albeit indirectly) which I wrote about previously in this article.
I was able to locate his induction speech at the following link. The speech is about 18 minutes all together and its not the most exciting speech in the world, but subhanAllah, when you look at Hakeem standing at the podium speaking, you know that this is not a modern-day athlete. The entire speech is composed of thanking people (after starting the speech by thanking God, walhamdulillah)- from his parents who taught him honesty and hard work to Dick Vitale for giving him the nickname ‘the dream’, I dont know if there’s anyone he left out.
I’ll always remember Hakeem after the first championship against the Knicks- the game ended and he was on the side of everyone else because he didnt want to get soaked with Alcohol. I’ll also remember the playoff game in Ramadan where he was taken out of the game due to dehydration. But my lasting image of Hakeem will be him sitting in Masjid an-Nabawi after salatul fajr in a thobe reciting the Quran, may Allah guide him and us to do that which is pleasing to Allah. Ameen.