Top 7 Muslim Basketball Players In The World

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Basketball, a game that is admired and celebrated all over the world, has seen the rise of remarkable talent from a variety of backgrounds. There have been some Muslim athletes who stand out on the basketball court among the many talented players.

Their commitment, talent, and tenacity have made them legends and inspirations for young basketball players all around the world. We’ll look at some of the greatest Muslim basketball players who made an impact on the sport in this post.

Hakeem Olajuwon:


One of the best basketball players of all time is largely regarded to have been Hakeem Olajuwon, who was born in Lagos, Nigeria, on January 21, 1963. Olajuwon, known for his exceptional abilities and dominance on both ends of the court, was given the moniker “The Dream” for his easygoing and fluid playing manner.


Olajuwon’s journey in basketball began when he first realised how much he loved the game. He obtained a scholarship to play for the University of Houston in the United States after polishing his abilities in Nigeria.

Olajuwon displayed his excellent skills there, under the direction of head coach Guy Lewis, and helped the Cougars to three victories.

NBA Success:

The Houston Rockets selected Olajuwon with the first overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draught. He rapidly established himself in the league, showing off an exceptional fusion of athleticism, footwork, and adaptability.

The “Dream Shake,” Olajuwon’s hallmark move, was a sequence of deceptive fakes that were fluid and difficult for defenders to predict.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:

Introduction to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:

  1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
  2. He was born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. on April 16, 1947.
  3. He has had a lasting impression on the sport and is regarded as a notable figure among Muslim basketball players, standing an amazing 7 feet 2 inches tall.

Success and Predominance on the Court:

The accomplishments of Abdul-Jabbar’s career are outstanding. He guided the UCLA squad to three straight NCAA titles from 1967 to 1969 when he was a student there. His first NBA team was the Milwaukee Bucks, and he later played for the Los Angeles Lakers. He won six NBA titles in all throughout his professional career, five of which he shared with the Lakers.

  • A Skyhook:

The Unstoppable Abdul-Jabbar Move His distinctive skyhook shot was one of Abdul-Jabbar’s most recognisable playing qualities. This unstoppable move, done with speed and grace, gave him a lead over rivals and dramatically increased his capacity to score.

  • Awards and Records:

Abdul-Jabbar has a lot of accolades and records. With 38,387 scores, he holds the record for most points ever scored in the NBA. He was chosen for the All-NBA First Team ten times and won the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award six times. He was also a 19-time NBA All-Star.

  • Awards and Records:

Abdul-Jabbar has a lot of accomplishments and records. With 38,387 points, he holds the record for most points ever scored in the NBA. He was chosen for the All-NBA First Team ten times and won the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award six times. He was also a 19-time NBA All-Star.

  • Impact and activism off the court:

In addition to his accomplishments on the floor, Abdul-Jabbar has also had a significant impact on it. He converted to Islam in 1971 and has since been a vocal supporter of social justice and religious tolerance. As part of his activism, he tackles issues of racial inequity.

Shaquille O’Neal:


One of the best centres to ever play in the NBA, according to many, was Hakeem Olajuwon. His outstanding career, which was characterised by deft movement, strong defensive play, and an effective offensive style, cemented his place as a legendary figure in basketball history.

Success in early career and college:

Olajuwon’s basketball career began at the University of Houston. He was born on January 21, 1963, in Lagos, Nigeria. He soon made a name for himself as a formidable foe, guiding the Cougars to three consecutive NCAA tournament trips in the Final Four.

The Houston Rockets have had NBA success:

The Houston Rockets selected Olajuwon with the first overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draught. He played for the Rockets for the duration of his career, where he had unequalled success. Olajuwon founded the renowned “Twin Towers” team with fellow Hall of Famer Ralph Sampson, changing the sport with their stature and talent.

Champion awards and personal awards:

The Rockets won back-to-back NBA titles in 1994 and 1995 because of Olajuwon’s perseverance and talent. He played a key role in both championship runs, displaying his unrivalled versatility and clutch actions. Olajuwon gained many honours throughout his career, including the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in 1994 and two NBA Finals MVP trophies.

Power on the angry:

Olajuwon was renowned for his defensive brilliance and his legendary shot-blocking skills. His swiftness and accuracy helped him to take the lead of he gained the moniker “The Dream” for his ability to prevent opponents from scoring.

Detlef Schrempf:


An ex-professional basketball player recognised for his adaptability, talent, and contributions to the game is Detlef Schrempf. Schrempf had a successful 16-year career and had a big impact on basketball both in the NBA and abroad.

Early Years and College Career:

Schrempf, a West German basketball player, was born on January 21, 1963, in Leverkusen. He relocated to the US to study at the University of Washington, where he was a standout college athlete and an important member of the Huskies.

NBA Successes:

The Dallas Mavericks selected Schrempf in the 1985 NBA Draught, which marked the start of his NBA career. He rapidly made a name for himself as a dynamic forward and dependable scorer.

His career peaked, though, when he played for the Seattle Supersonics and Indiana Pacers. From 1993 to 1995, Schrempf was selected to three NBA All-Star games in a row and was well-known for his great shooting, passing, and rebounding skills.

The Extraordinary  Person:

Schrempf was well known for his influence as a substitute. He accepted the “sixth man” position and excelled in it, ranking among the best in the league. The success of his teams was greatly influenced by his ability to make vital plays off the bench and spark offence.

Mehmet Okur:


Turkish-born Mehmet Okur, a former professional basketball player, enjoyed a fruitful NBA career. During his stint in the league, Okur had a big impact on the game thanks to his diverse skill set and deadly outside shooting.

Early years and professional beginnings:

Okur, a Turkish basketball player born in Yalova on May 26, 1979, displayed promise as a young player. Before moving on to the NBA, he played for one of Turkey’s finest basketball teams, Efes Pilsen.

Turkish National Team and International Success:

Okur also had a prosperous international career while he was a member of the Turkish national team. He participated in several FIBA EuroBasket competitions as well as the 2010 FIBA World Championship, where he helped Turkey win a silver medal, cementing his status as a national hero.

Injury and Retirement:

Regrettably, Okur’s career was cut short by injuries in the latter stages. He continued to be regarded in the basketball world despite the defeats. Okur announced his retirement from the NBA in 2012, leaving behind a successful career and a list of achievements.

Enes Kanter:


Turkish professional basketball player Enes Kanter has distinguished himself in the NBA with his determination, ability to grab rebounds, and outspoken activism.

The influence Kanter has had in the basketball world both on and off the court has cemented his position as a leading figure. Kanter is known for his unwavering work ethic and dedication to social justice.

Youth and College Career:

Enes Kanter was born to Turkish parents on May 20, 1992, in Zurich, Switzerland. He started playing basketball at a young age and gained recognition for his abilities right away. Kanter moved to the US and enrolled at the University of Kentucky, where he showed his skills as an overwhelming force in collegiate basketball.

Early Years and College Career:

Enes Kanter was born to Turkish parents on May 20, 1992, in Zurich, Switzerland. He started playing basketball at a young age and gained recognition for his abilities right away. Kanter moved to the US and enrolled at the University of Kentucky, where he displayed his skills as a formidable force in collegiate basketball.

NBA Success:

Kanter’s NBA career got off to a good start in 2011 when the Utah Jazz selected him as their third-round pick in the NBA Draught. He had an immediate effect by showcasing his top-notch ability to rebound and score in the paint. Kanter was a member of multiple NBA teams, such as the Oklahoma City Thunder, NewBoston Celtics, Oklahoma City Thunder, and the New York Knicks,

Shareef Abdur-Rahim:


Shareef Abdur-Rahim, a former NBA player, had a significant impact on the league with his flexibility, scoring prowess, and leadership both on and off the court. Abdur-Rahim is still regarded as a leading personality in the world of basketball. He is renowned for his fluid offensive style and commitment to the neighbourhood.

Young Adulthood and College Career:

Abdur-Rahim, who was born in Marietta, Georgia, on December 11, 1976, started playing basketball at Wheeler High School when he first displayed his outstanding talent. He made an even bigger impression while competing for the University of California, Berkeley. Abdur-Rahim showed his scoring power and agility while playing on his collegiate team.

NBA Successes:

The Vancouver Grizzlies selected Abdur-Rahim with the third overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draught. He made an early impression by showcasing his versatility on the floor and his ability to score. Later on, while playing with the Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trail Blazers, and Sacramento Kings, Abdur-Rahim cemented his standing as a trustworthy scorer and team captain.

International Career and Selection as an All-Star:

Abdur-Rahim’s selection to the NBA All-Star Game in 2002 was a testament to his outstanding play. Additionally, he competed for the United States internationally and won a gold medal at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.

Player NameNationalityNotable Achievements
Abdul-Rauf, MahmoudUnited StatesNBA Most Improved Player (1993), NBA Sixth Man of the Year (1995)
Abdul-Jabbar, KareemUnited States6-time NBA Champion, 6-time NBA MVP, NBA all-time leading scorer
Abdur-Rahim, ShareefUnited StatesNBA All-Star (2002), NBA Rookie of the Year (1997)
Ali, TariqCanadaFirst Muslim player drafted in the NBA (2009)
Casspi, OmriIsraelFirst Israeli player in the NBA
Diaw, BorisFranceNBA Champion (2014), NBA Finals MVP (2006)
Kanter, EnesTurkeyNBA All-Rookie First Team (2012), outspoken human rights activist
Mutombo, DikembeDemocratic Republic of the Congo8-time NBA All-Star, 4-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year
Nowitzki, DirkGermanyNBA Champion (2011), NBA Finals MVP (2011), NBA MVP (2007)
Olajuwon, HakeemNigeria2-time NBA Champion, NBA Finals MVP (1994, 1995), NBA


Muslims have exhibited their talent, skill, and passion for the sport by substantially influencing the world of basketball. Muslim basketball players have had a significant impact on the game, from historical players like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Hakeem Olajuwon to current stars like Enes Kanter.

In addition to dominating the court, these players have emerged as role models for aspiring athletes. Their achievements are evidence of their dedication to the activity, tenacity, and hard work. They have disproven biases, broken down barriers, and disproven myths about how religion affects sports success.

Muslim basketball players have excelled on the court, but they have also had a great influence on it. Many of them use their platforms to advance social causes and give back to their communities through active philanthropic endeavours. Others are inspired by their dedication to activism and philanthropic work.

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