Like father, like daughter: Abi Olajuwon leads OU to Final Four

Like father, like daughter: Abi Olajuwon leads OU to Final Four

Credit: AP

Like father, like daughter: Abi Olajuwon leads OU to Final Four

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by Associated Press

khou.com

Posted on April 3, 2010 at 6:17 PM

SAN ANTONIO—Hakeem Olajuwon arrived at the Alamodome in 1995 leading a middle-of-the-pack underdog against a dominant No. 1 seed.

Like father, like daughter.

Oklahoma center Abi Olajuwon didn’t want to discuss her Hall of Fame father Saturday, but when the Sooners open the Final Four against Stanford on Sunday, she’ll be trying to duplicate his success here.

"Hopefully there’s some luck still here," Abi Olajuwon said.

The Houston Rockets slouched into the 1995 playoffs as the No. 6 seed, but made a run to the Western Conference finals and wound up against the San Antonio Spurs, the top team.

The Spurs had the NBA’s best record and league MVP David Robinson. But behind Hakeem Olajuwon, the Rockets won all three games at the Alamodome and ousted the Spurs before winning their second consecutive championship.

Like Hakeem’s Rockets against the Spurs, Abi’s Sooners (26-10) enter the Final Four as the inferior opponent to Stanford (35-1). But the Alamodome isn’t just familiar ground to the Olajuwons: It’s also home to Oklahoma’s only other Final Four appearance in 2002.

Abi Olajuwon is a big reason why the Sooners are back.

Oklahoma’s fourth-leading scorer in Big 12 play, Olajuwon has averaged 15 points in the NCAA tournament, second behind Nyeshia Stevenson (19.8 points). Olajuwon spent most of her college career on the bench behind Courtney and Ashley Paris but has flourished in her senior year.

"It’s a fabulous story," Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. "And I think young athletes everywhere should really pay attention to it, because that’s the right way to do it. She was in it for the long haul."

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