Former Houston Rocket Hakeem Olajuwon was announced as the new NBA Ambassador to Africa by the league Wednesday morning.
The news was released to the media and Ken Berger of CBS revealed the announcement via Twitter.
Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon — a native Nigerian — has been named NBA Ambassador to Africa, the league announces.
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) May 21, 2014
Olajuwon, a native of Lagos, Nigeria, has played the role as a prominent figure to basketball in Africa since his first overall selection in the 1984 NBA Draft.
“The Dream” attended the University of Houston before joining the Rockets, where he would win two titles in 1994 and 1995. Hakeem is the only player in NBA history to ever receive the MVP, Finals MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards in a single season(1994).
The position will make the 12-time All Star the NBA’s leading figure for its development of basketball in the region as well as their charitable efforts with NBA Cares.
Olajuwon will also work closely with the NBA Africa offices, located in Johannesburg, South Africa, in attempts to work with the countries in the region to bring more access of the sport to the entire continent.
The NBA has welcomed several African natives into the NBA since Hakeem entered in 1984 and the league is home to active players from the region such as Minnesota Timberwolves’ Center Gorgui Dieng and Charlotte Hornets’ Forward Bismack Biyombo.