Below are our top 10 picks for Hakeem Olajuwon cards that all collectors should look to add to their collection. As well as some extra memorabilia items.
Hakeem Olajuwon is one of the best basketball players in NBA history. Dominating the center position for the Houston Rockets for a decade and a half.
Olajuwon was named to the All-NBA 1st Team 6 times and the All-Defensive 1st Team 5 times, won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year twice, and was the 1993-1994 NBA MVP.
He helped lead the Houston Rockets to back-to-back NBA championships during the 1993-1994 and 1994-1995 seasons, winning Finals MVP in both of them.
Because of his legendary career, many basketball cards featuring Olajuwon possess a significant amount of value in the sports card market.
10. 1987-1988 Fleer Sticker #3
PSA 10 Value – $1,000
PSA 9 Value – $120
In addition to printing sports cards, the mid to late-80s Fleer sets would include a limited set of stickers featuring some of the best players in the league.
In some cases, the stickers are more valuable than the cards. Partly because finding an unpeeled sticker still mounted on the cardboard frame in good condition is very difficult to find.
The 1987-1988 Fleer Sticker featuring Hakeem Olajuwon is 1 of 11 cards in the 1987-1988 Fleer set to feature different stars in a sticker format.
The front of the card showcases a very colorful red, white, and blue border, with a picture of Olajuwon dribbling the basketball. Olajuwon’s name, team, position, and the word Fleer are listed on a yellow strip on the left side of the card’s front.
While the rear contains a lengthy player biography with many of his early career accomplishments.
You will notice that a few cards on this list show his name spelt as Akeem. These aren’t error cards or misprints. He changed his name in 1991 to Hakeem.
9. 2012-2013 Panini Immaculate Patch Autograph #AP-AO
PSA 10 Value – $1,250
PSA 9 Value – $500
For collectors looking for an affordable relic card. The Panini Immaculate series continues to be one of the best options available in the market.
The 2012-2013 Patch Autograph #AP-AO card possesses a stylish design, with a picture of Olajuwon covering the entire left side of the card’s front.
The right side contains a jersey patch located on the upper half of the card with Olajuwon’s signature directly below.
The rear of the card contains a brief player biography, a nice addition for a relic card, which typically don’t contain much player bio or statistical information.
8. 1984-1985 Star Court Kings Rookie Card #47
PSA 10 Value – $1,750
PSA 9 Value – $500
Star was the only company licensed to print NBA cards in the mid-80s. Filling the gap between 1982, when Topps left the basketball market, and 1986, when Fleer introduced their first set.
Because these cards were not widely distributed, many collectors do not consider them a part of an official set. As a result, these collectors do not view any cards featuring rookies as official rookie cards. Even if it was the first time they were featured on a card. However, some collectors do classify Star cards featuring new players as rookie cards.
The most accurate view of the situation is probably to consider players being featured for the first time on the 1984-1985 Star and 1986-1987 Fleer sets as both rookie cards.
The 1984-1985 Star Court Kings #47 card featuring Olajuwon is a specialty rookie card. Produced in an enlarged 5″ by 7″ format with a blue border on the front of the card. The front contains a picture of Olajuwon shooting a free throw.
While the back contains very little information other than Olajuwon’s name, height and weight.
7. 1987-1988 Fleer #80
PSA 10 Value – $2,500
PSA 9 Value – $75
Although the 1987-1988 Fleer set could not possibly match the legendary status of the 1986-1987 set. It still produced a high-quality product, albeit with a scaled-back design.
The 1987-1988 #80 card featuring Olajuwon is still valuable, picturing him about to shoot a free throw.
The card’s front contains a white and gray border, with the word Rockets listed at the top right of the card in red and yellow coloring. Olajuwon’s name and position are listed at the bottom of the card’s front.
While the rear of the card lists his stats for the first 3 seasons of his career.
6. 2014-2015 Panini Flawless Dual Diamond Sampson/Olajuwon #DD-TWRS
PSA 10 Value – $3,000
PSA 9 Value – $1,500
One of the rarest cards on this list. The 2014-2015 Panini Flawless Dual Diamond #DD-TWRS card is a retro-NBA fan’s dream. Featuring game-worn jersey patches by both Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon.
Aptly nicknamed the twin towers. Sampson and Olajuwon were both teammates on the Houston Rockets for 3 and a half seasons. Sampson standing at 7 feet, 4 inches tall, and Olajuwon standing at exactly 7 feet.
The card implements a horizontal format, with both jersey patches placed on the outside edges of the card’s front, and pictures of both Olajuwon and Sampson placed between their respective jersey patches.
The rear contains a brief summary of their time spent together with the Rockets. This is a rare card with only 5 available. As I write this, one card is listed on Ebay, and the other on Mr B’s Collection, a private collectors sale site.
5. 1986-1987 Fleer Sticker Rookie Card #9
PSA 10 Value – $5,000
PSA 9 Value – $350
The #9 1986-1987 Fleer Sticker rookie card is a highly sought-after piece of memorabilia and is very valuable in a PSA 10 condition.
Like the 1987-1988 Olajuwon sticker card. It is 1 of 11 total sticker cards produced by Fleer in conjunction with their regular base set of cards.
The action photograph featured on the front of the sticker card is incredible, by far the best action shot of any card on this list. It pictures Olajuwon attempting to block a shot attempt by Magic Johnson, who is in the midst of one of his patented drives to the basket.
The back of the card contains a very lengthy player biography. Listing many of Olajuwon’s collegiate accomplishments.
4. 1997-1998 Upper Deck Game Jersey #GJ10
PSA 10 Value – $5,000
PSA 9 Value – $2,500
With the first jersey cards not invented until 1996. The 1997-1998 #GJ10 Upper Deck Game Jersey card is one of the first jersey cards to ever feature Olajuwon.
This card is extremely rare, with only one version currently available for purchase on eBay, and collectors lucky enough to find this card in good condition should get it graded immediately to enhance its value.
The card possesses a unique design, with a horizontal layout and rounded corners. The jersey patch is contained on the left of the card’s front, with a picture of Olajuwon on the right.
The Rockets team logo is printed in the upper left of the card’s front, with Olajuwon’s name centered at the bottom.
The rear of the card contains another photo of Olajuwon and notes that he is the all-time leader in blocked shots.
3. 1986-1987 Fleer Rookie Card #82
PSA 10 Value – $5,500
PSA 9 Value – $900
The 1986-1987 #82 Hakeem Olajuwon rookie card is a legendary rookie card among many other legendary rookie cards in a legendary Fleer set.
It is the most desirable Olajuwon card among collectors and showcases an impressive action shot of him fighting for good positioning in the post against Lakers power forward Maurice Lucas.
The card showcases the vibrant ’86-87 Fleer red, white, and blue border design on the card’s front. With Olajuwon’s name, position, and team name centered at the bottom.
The rear of the card simply lists his single-season stats from his first 2 years in the league, as well as his total career averages.
2. 2019-2020 Panini Flawless Autograph Patch Gold #SW-HOW
PSA 10 Value – $6,000
PSA 9 Value – $3,000
The 2019-2020 Panini Flawless Autograph Patch Gold version card is another great high-end specialty card produced by Panini.
Limited to just 10 copies, the card employs a very stylish design, featuring the jersey patch at the center of the card’s front in a gold-star outline. The signature is listed directly below the jersey patch. An upper-body picture of Olajuwon is contained at the top left. With the Panini Flawless name and emblem featured in the top right of the card in gold lettering/ink.
The back of the card contains a short player biography talking about Olajuwon’s development in Nigeria playing handball and soccer. Which helped to develop his overall skillset as a basketball player.
1. 1984-1985 Star Rookie Card #237
PSA 10 Value – $10,000
PSA 9 Value – $2,000
This is the first basketball card to ever feature Olajuwon. The 1984-1985 Star rookie card is probably the most valuable non-specialty card featuring Olajuwon in existence.
The card contains a yellow border on its front with a photo of Olajuwon in the midst of making a move facing the basket.
The rear of the card contains a pink and white background, listing Olajuwon’s collegiate stats.
One of the problems with the valuation of Star’s cards is that their poor overall design made them easy to counterfeit, causing PSA to stop grading them.
The lack of genuine, graded versions of this card has driven down its value. However, PSA has just recently started grading Star cards from the 1984-1985 set again. The seas been enhancing the value of some of the major rookie cards from this set.
Although the 1986-1987 Fleer rookie card is still considered the top Olajuwon rookie card in existence. If PSA 10 versions of the 1984-1985 Star rookie card start to hit the market, this card could easily become the top Olajuwon rookie card that collectors desire.
Bonus Memorabilia Items
Large amounts of great sports memorabilia other than basketball cards featuring Olajuwon are also available on sportsmemorabilia.com.
One of the best overall items for collectors of all types is an autographed vintage mid-90s Houston Rockets replica jersey, selling for a very affordable $299.99.
Do you fancy a Spalding basketball autographed by both Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, the 2 best players on the 1994-1995 Rockets championship team. Well this is currently available for $499.99.
A framed, autographed Rockets jersey, this one in the late-90s white pinstripe style that Houston players wore, can be purchased for $679.99. While an unframed, autographed Rockets jersey, also in the late-90s pinstripe style. This one in the away dark blue design, can be purchased for $379.99.
For $99.99, an autographed copy of Olajuwon’s autobiography Living the Dream is also available for collectors.
Finally, a great addition for any study, man cave, office space, or workspace, is an autographed 16-inch by 20-inch photo of Olajuwon shooting a jump shot over Patrick Ewing during the 1994 NBA Finals, available for $319.99.