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Hakeem Olajuwon

I always keep a ball in the car. You never know.

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Basketball is in my blood. It is my obligation to try.

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My background playing soccer gave me a natural advantage over many of the American-born players.

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I remember at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Shaq always wanted me to show him steps over and over.

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I've now been in this country for thirteen years, since I was seventeen. So this is my second home.

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I don't think Michael had to retire for us to get the spotlight, because when you win, it commands attention.

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When you get to that level, it's not a matter of talent anymore - because all the players are so talented - it's about preparation, about playing smart and making good decisions.

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Being from Africa is the best thing that could have ever, ever happened to me. I cannot see it any other way. All of my fundamental principles that were instilled in me in my home, from my childhood, are still with me.

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When I look at the system here and look at my position - not just as a basketball player, but when I look around me at the values of the people and the culture and compare them with the values of where I came from - I feel so blessed to be from Africa.

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All these boundaries - Africa, Asia, Malaysia, America - are set by men. But you don't have to look at boundaries when you are looking at a man - at the character of a man. The question is: What do you stand for? Are you a follower, or are you a leader?

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