This post contains affiliate links to include the eBay Partner Network which may earn a commission. We truly appreciate your support.

We feel Hakeem Olajuwon rookie cards are an undervalued investment based on current prices. Hakeem was an absolute beast on both ends of the court, with flawless footwork on the low block and a silky-smooth shot. Few players in the league could match his stats and ability.


Houston Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon (01/21/63) was the first pick in the 1984 Draft and repaid the favor with a duo of NBA championship wins in the mid-1990s. It’s not bad for a guy who didn’t start playing basketball until he was 15.

Hakeem Olajuwon’s rookie year stats: 82 games, 82 games started, 20.6 points per game, 11.9 total rebounds, and 2.7 blocks.

The center ended his career in 2002 after a single season with the Raptors, and he’s still well-remembered as one of the best defensive players of all time. We’ve listed a trio of the top Olajuwon rookie card options, with lots of info and investment advice below.

Related Players/Cards: Paolo Banchero Rookie Cards | Luka Doncic Rookie Cards | Shaq Basketball Cards

1986-87 is widely accepted as Olajuwon’s rookie season, although a couple of exciting options from 1984-85 are also famous. One is first on our list!


1984 Hakeem Olajuwon Star RC #237


It might not be Olajuwon’s official RC, but the 1984-85 Star is his first licensed NBA card. The bright orange background is the first thing that’ll probably catch your eye, while it features an action shot showing the player readying to shoot.

Trending: Top 50 Michael Jordan Rookie Cards

Rather than an error, the older Star cards note his name as “Akeem” because Olajuwon had not yet changed the spelling of his name to “Hakeem.” PSA 10 versions are often his most expensive cards until you start looking at the RC we’ve listed below.


1986 Hakeem Olajuwon Fleer RC #82


The 1986 Fleer is seen as the ‘official’ Olajuwon rookie card and part of one of the most famous sets in the hobby. (It also spells his name correctly.) Olajuwon might be slightly disregarded compared to Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, and MJ, who also had RCs in the set. However, it’s still expensive if you look at that elusive PSA 10 grade.

It features an image of Olajuwon backing into a Laker’s attacker, highlighting his enormous frame and incredible off-ball defense skills. 1986 Fleer basketball cards were susceptible to many problems, including issues with centering and widespread fakes, while the red corners chip very easily. It’s no wonder high-graded versions are worth so much.

Hot Rookie Card: Zion Williamson Rookie Cards


1986 Hakeem Olajuwon Fleer Stickers RC #9


Given the value of the average 1986 Fleer, the Sticker is a great budget option if you just have to own a bonafide Olajuwon RC. The intense action shot is a significant bonus, featuring Olajuwon dominating defensively against “Magic” Johnson. The insert isn’t as colorful as the card because it lacks a gloss finish, but it’s still a solid piece of memorabilia.

It’s probably the best image of all three cards, not that it matters to most collectors who’d prefer the 1986 Fleer. However, this means that it’s slept on ever so slightly, and it could be the best investment overall.



  • 1986 Fleer Stickers Hakeem Olajuwon RC #9
  • 1986 Fleer Hakeem Olajuwon RC #86
  • 1986 Star Best of the New Hakeem Olajuwon RC #3
  • 1984 Star Hakeem Olajuwon RC #237
  • 1984 Star Court Kings 5×7 Hakeem Olajuwon RC #47



The most valuable Olajuwon rookie card is his 1986 Fleer, and we predict this card to rise much faster than the average NBA HOF player’s rookie card.

Hakeem Olajuwon is by far the best player of all time from Africa. This should help the value of the 1986 RC tremendously over the next 20 years as Africa moves away from a third-world economy to a first-world economy.


Risk Analysis and Investment Outlook

Olajuwon will always be seen as a legend for Rocket fans, but it’s worth mentioning his work off the court too. His affordable sneakers might have failed, but his RCs are still going strong thirty years on. The point is, Olajuwon is unlikely to face any significant controversies in the future unless he’s tricking us, Gustavo Fring style.

His rookie cards are all susceptible to issues deriving from the printing process, which is fair considering they’re older than I am.

Of the three cards we’ve discussed above, it’s clear that the 1896 Fleer is the one to go for, especially as it carries the most weight in terms of prestige. (Even if he didn’t get a mention in “The Last Dance” documentary, which would have given them a further boost.) We are buying as many as the 1986 Fleer rookie cards as possible (reasonably priced).

Categorized in: