Hasheem Thabeet

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Hasheem Thabeet
Hasheem Thabeet cropped.jpg
No. 34 – Oklahoma City Thunder
Position Center
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1987-02-16) February 16, 1987 (age 27)
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Nationality Tanzanian
Listed height 7 ft 3 in (221 cm)
Listed weight 263 lb (119 kg)
Career information
College Connecticut (2006–2009)
NBA draft 2009 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall
Selected by the Memphis Grizzlies
Pro playing career 2009–present
Career history
20092011 Memphis Grizzlies
2009–2010 Dakota Wizards (D-League)
20112012 Houston Rockets
2011 Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League)
2012 Portland Trail Blazers
2012–present Oklahoma City Thunder
Career highlights and awards

Hasheem Thabeet (born Hashim Thabit Manka on February 16, 1987)[1] is a Tanzanian professional basketball player who currently plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA. At 7 ft 3 in (2.21 m), Thabeet is the tallest active player in the NBA.[2] He was drafted as the 2nd pick overall by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2009 NBA Draft after playing with the Connecticut Huskies. Thabeet was the tallest player ever to play for the Huskies. He did not begin to play basketball until the age of 15, when he began to watch pickup games in Tanzania. When first recruited from Tanzania, Thabeet was fluent in Swahili and French but knew little English.[3]

University of Connecticut[edit]


As a freshman, he averaged 6.2 points and 3.8 blocks per game.[4] On December 3, 2006, Thabeet tied a UConn record with 10 blocks.[5] Thabeet was named to the 2007 All-Big East Rookie Team, along with teammate Jerome Dyson.


As a sophomore he saw increased minutes and he averaged 10.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, 4.5 blocks on the season.[4] On January 5, 2008, he tied his career high in blocks with 10 in the Huskies' 73-67 loss at University of Notre Dame.[6] Thabeet was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year and to the Second Team All Big East.


As a junior at UConn, Thabeet emerged on the national scene, averaging 13.6 points and 10.8 rebounds. He earned his first career triple-double against Providence College on January 31, 2009, with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks.[7] He finished with 152 blocks on the season, and he was known for the shots he prevented from ever being taken.

He was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year and was co-Big East Player of the Year with Pitt's DeJuan Blair.[8] He was named Second Team All-America and National Defensive Player of the Year.

Thabeet surpassed the 1,000-point mark against Purdue on March 26, 2009. He was the third UConn player that season to do so (Jerome Dyson and A. J. Price were the others). Thabeet helped lead UConn to their first Final Four appearance since 2004.

In April 2009, Thabeet decided to forgo his senior season and declare for the 2009 NBA Draft. He was drafted 2nd overall by the Memphis Grizzlies. He became the first Tanzanian born NBA player.

NBA career[edit]

2009–10 (rookie season)[edit]

In a November 10 game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Thabeet suffered a fractured jaw, and was out for a couple of weeks.[9] On December 13, 2009, he had a season-high five blocks.[10]

On February 25, 2010, the Memphis Grizzlies announced that they were sending Thabeet to the NBA Development League. He was assigned to the Dakota Wizards, the North Dakota affiliate of the Memphis Grizzlies.[11] He was the highest drafted player ever to be sent to the NBA Development League. Thabeet was recalled on March 8, 2010.[12]

2010–11 season[edit]

On February 24, 2011 at the NBA trade deadline, Thabeet was traded to the Houston Rockets along with a first round pick in exchange for Shane Battier.

Thabeet once again was assigned to the D-League, this time to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on March 21, 2011. On April 11, 2011, he was called up by the Houston Rockets.

2011–12 season[edit]

On March 15, 2012, Thabeet was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers along with Jonny Flynn and a future second round pick for Marcus Camby.[13]

2012–13 season[edit]

On July 11, 2012, he signed as a free agent with the Oklahoma City Thunder.[14] On November 26, 2012, in a 114-69 win over the Charlotte Bobcats, Thabeet recorded his first career double-double with 13 points (a career high) and 10 rebounds.[15]

NBA statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season[edit]

2009–10 Memphis 68 13 13.0 .588 .000 .581 3.6 .2 .2 1.3 3.1
2010–11 Memphis 45 0 8.2 .436 .000 .543 1.7 .1 .2 .3 1.2
2010–11 Houston 2 0 2.0 .000 .000 .000 .0 .0 .0 .5 .0
2011–12 Houston 5 0 4.6 1.000 .000 .000 1.4 .0 .0 .4 1.2
2011–12 Portland 15 3 7.7 .444 .000 .650 2.3 .0 .1 .5 1.9
2012–13 Oklahoma City 66 4 11.7 .604 .000 .604 3.0 .2 .5 .9 2.4
Career 201 20 10.8 .567 .000 .587 2.8 .1 .3 .9 2.3


2013 Oklahoma City 4 0 6.5 .500 .000 .000 1.5 .0 .3 .0 .5
Career 4 0 6.5 .500 .000 .000 1.5 .0 .3 .0 .5

Personal life[edit]

Thabeet is the son of the late Thabit Manka and Rukia Manka. He has one sister, Sham, and one brother, Akbar.[16]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]