The Best Hakeem Olajuwon Rookie Cards

Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon is a 12-time All-Star and two-time NBA Champion and Finals MVP. It’s not a bad return for a player who started off playing soccer in Lagos, Nigeria, and only picked up a basketball for the first time at the age of 15. 

It took two years for the 7-foot (2.13-metre) centre to be recruited to play collegiate basketball, and he’s widely considered to be one of the greatest centers, as well as one of the greatest basketball players of all-time.

Here’s what you need to know about the best Hakeem Olajuwon rookie cards, as we list a trio of the top options you’ll find on the market. 

The Best Hakeem Olajuwon Rookie Cards

We’ve included three of the best Hakeem Olajuwon RCs below, all released during the mid-to-late 1980’s.  

3. 1986-87 Fleer Sticker Hakeem Olajuwon / Akeem Olajuwon RC #9 (eBay)

1986-87 Fleer Sticker Hakeem Olajuwon / Akeem Olajuwon RC #9

The 1986 Fleer sticker insert set accompanies the popular base set, including a small selection (11) of the best players from the collection. Each one went on to become a Hall of Famer, including the likes of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson

Olajuwon is shown in a dominant action shot, while his name is found (Akeem) on a yellow tab on the left hand side. It’s worth noting that Olajuwon changed the spelling of his name from Akeem to Hakeem in 1991. 

Unpeeled pristine versions are where the true value lies, and there are only 59 PSA 10 copies at the current time of writing.

Check prices of 1986-87 Fleer Sticker Hakeem Olajuwon / Akeem Olajuwon RCs on eBay.

2. 1984-85 Star Hakeem Olajuwon / Akeem Olajuwon XRC #237 (eBay)

1984-85 Star Hakeem Olajuwon / Akeem Olajuwon XRC #237

The 1985 Star XRC is a great early option, released two years before the others on this list. It features a simple action shot of Olajuwon clutching a ball in both hands. 

The vivid orange border is eye-catching, and the 1984-85 Star Hakeem Olajuwon card is one of the toughest from the set to find at higher grades. (The orange border scuffs easily, while it is believed that most sets had production runs which number under 5,000 cards.)

However, Star Co. counterfeits have been a major concern in the hobby, so we’d stick to graded versions whenever possible. 

Check prices of 1984-85 Star Hakeem Olajuwon / Akeem Olajuwon XRC #237 cards on eBay.

1. 1986-87 Fleer Hakeem Olajuwon / Akeem Olajuwon RC #82 (eBay)

1986-87 Fleer Hakeem Olajuwon / Akeem Olajuwon RC #82

The 1986 Fleer collection is one of the most popular basketball sets ever created, as it happens to contain the famous Michael Jordan RC. (It’s the most coveted base Jordan collectible by a wide margin.)

Olajuwon is featured doing what he does best in his 1986 Fleer rookie card, with a familiar red, white, and blue border, as well as a classic Fleer logo in the top right corner. 

As with the majority of 1986 Fleer cards, PSA 10 copies are where the true value lies. 

Check prices of 1986 Fleer Hakeem Olajuwon RC PSA 10 copies on eBay.

Hakeem Olajuwon Rookie Cards: Buyers Guide 

Here’s what we think about the current state of the market for Hakeem Olajuwon RCs. 

The Best Cheap Hakeem Olajuwon Rookie Cards

If you just want to add the 1986-87 Fleer Basketball card to your collection, you’re in luck as PSA 8 copies can be grabbed for roughly $230. PSA 7s sell for under $150, while ungraded versions can be found for as little as $20. As with many older cards produced in high numbers, only pristine copies are worth large amounts in the present day. 

The Best Hakeem Olajuwon Investment Rookie Card

PSA 10 copies of the 1986-87 Fleer Basketball card look to be a safer investment than most, and they’re not as plentiful as you might have expected. There are 328 Gem Mint versions on the registry at the current time of writing. 

Given the association with Jordan, it’s a great set to hold onto as a long-term investment option.

Hakeem Olajuwon Rookie Cards: Buying/Selling Advice

Hakeem Olajuwon is one of the safer bets if you’re on the market for low risk rookie card investment options from the 1980s. 

The Hall of Famer is long retired, while in 1993-94 he became the first player to be named NBA MVP, NBA Defensive Player of the Year and NBA Finals MVP in the same season. 

He’s never in the news for a negative reason, and seems to have thrived post-retirement with a number of smart property investments. 

To give an insight into his personality, he endorsed a line of low-priced shoes made by Spalding in 1995, known as ‘The Dream.’ Olajuwon said; 

“How can a poor working mother with three boys buy Nikes or Reeboks that cost $120? She can’t. So kids steal these shoes from stores and from other kids. Sometimes they kill for them.”

We’d advise to stick with graded versions if you’re tempted by the Star Rookie, while PSA 10 copies of the 1986-87 Fleer Basketball card would be our top pick overall. 

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