Photo by University of Houston Digital Library, courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Over an 18-year career in the NBA, basket center Hakeem Olajuwon established himself as one of the most dominant players in the history of the game. Facing doubt about his abilities and prejudice as a native African as a college player, he went on to join the Houston Rockets as the No. 1 draft pick in 1984. He was the first player to be named MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and Finals MVP in the same season, was a 14-time All-Star, and led the Rockets to win back-to-back NBA titles.