A thief steals a 'Dream'
By Tom Carpenter
Daily Cougar Staff
A souvenir hunter gained entrance to Suite
127 in Hofheinz Pavilion and stole the uniform worn by former "Phi Slamma
Jamma" and UH Hall
of Fame member Hakeem Olajuwon, said University
Police Department shift commander Sgt. Derrick McClinton.
Photo courtesy of the 1983
Hakeem "the Dream" Olajuwon
soars high to dunk during the Cougars' 1983 Phi Slamma Jamma run to the
"The time of the theft was somewhere between
10:30 a.m. Sept. 6, the last time anyone can remember seeing the uniform,
and 11 a.m. Sept.
10, when someone noticed it was missing,"
The uniform, valued at $550, was on display
in Suite 127, which is open to the public during the workday and secured
after working hours.
"The room was secure. The uniform was removed
from a frame bolted to the wall," McClinton said. "There was no sign of
forced entry. Of
course, the thief could have gained entrance
when the room was unsecured."
Police speculate the souvenir hunter might
have possessed a key to enter the secured room after hours or brazenly
pilfered the uniform while
the room was open to the public.
Olajuwon was a principal member of UH basketball's
glory days, the Phi Slamma Jamma teams that made three consecutive appearances
the Final Four.
UH and Olajuwon played North Carolina State
for the national championship in 1983, bowing out 54-52 in one of the most
championship games in NCAA history.
UH honored Olajuwon on Feb. 12, 1997, when
the University retired his No. 34 jersey.
Olajuwon's grace and athleticism on the
basketball court, in college and in the pros, earned him the nickname "Hakeem
Olajuwon won two National Basketball Association
championships with the Houston Rockets during his 16 years with the team.
"The Dream" signed a contract with the
Toronto Raptors instead of ending his Hall of Fame career with the Rockets.
"Fingerprints will be taken from the frame,
but at this time we have no suspects," McClinton said.