Monday, September 17, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 18


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 Houstonian

Hakeem "the Dream" Olajuwon soars high to dunk during the Cougars' 1983 Phi Slamma Jamma run to the Final Four.

"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," McClinton said.

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 in
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 thrilling
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 the Dream."
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.

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