Nigerian-American former professional basketball player for the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors, Hakeem Olajuwon, launched a basketball camp in England to attract new talent.
Following on from the successful camp in 2016, City of Birmingham Basketball Club are happy to be hosting the second Hakeem Olajuwon Basketball Summer Camp this summer.
Also in attendance will be top shooting coaches along with a host of other elite coaches from around the UK.
Olajuwon led the Houston Rockets to back-to-back NBA championships in 1994 and 1995, was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008 and FIBA Hall of Fame just last year in 2016.
Olajuwon established himself as an unusually skilled offensive player for a big man, perfecting a set of fakes and spin moves that became known as his trademark Dream Shake. Executed with uncanny speed and power, they are still regarded as the pinnacle of “big man” footwork.
Shaquille O’Neal stated: “Hakeem has five moves, then four countermoves – that gives him 20 moves.”
Take a look into the NBA Vault with this amazing compilation of Hakeem Olajuwon’s patented “Dream Shakes”!
Olajuwon moved his family to England in 2015 and his daughter enrolled at the University of Birmingham and he was looking for a club her could play with his son and advance the game in England. He told ESPN,
“Basketball is so huge on a global level, but in the UK there is so much room to grow. So I looked at what value I could bring.”
He soon established a partnership with the COB and the first Hakeem Olajuwon City of Birmingham Basketball Summer Camp for kids ages 11 to 16 was held last year with 88 participants.
Campers pay a small fee for the five-day experience. This second grew to 115 boys and girls.
Olajuwon stood watching, smiling and said,
“When I walked in this morning, I saw them in their uniform, the different size of the players and the volume, it was so impressive,” Olajuwon said. “They’re so happy to be here; there’s an energy here. This is just as a result of what we’ve been planning for a year. To see the execution — and to see how well it’s organized — I just couldn’t be more proud.”
“This is an opportunity to link players — at least if they don’t play in the NBA, they can get a basketball scholarship to college,” Olajuwon said. “Basketball is like a clique in the UK — there are small numbers, but those who play the game love it, and it’s growing so fast.”
“The boys are now searching on YouTube, looking for players,” he said. “So it’s amazing to watch them know their names, and their moves. It’s something very different for me … on their own, they are picking up the game.”
Check out the video below: