Joel Embiid is the modern day Hakeem Olajuwon

Drafted out of the University of Kansas in 2014, Philadelphia 76ers star center Joel Embiid was an offensively raw big man on draft night. Through the help of trainer Drew Hanlen, Embiid has worked to model his game after NBA legend Hakeem Olajuwon.

The scouting reports on Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid were all similar coming out of college: his offensive game was a “work in progress.” During his time at Kansas, Embiid did most of his damage around the rim, but showed potential with a diverse post game that featured many moves made famous by Hakeem Olajuwon.

Olajuwon is one of the greatest centers in NBA history, putting up career averages of 22 points and 11 rebounds per game alongside 12 All-Star game appearances and two NBA championships. His post game was virtually unstoppable during his time in the league, as his “Dream Shake” and signature drop-step turned defenders into statues.

Olajuwon was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and learned to play basketball as late as age 15 while attending a Muslim school in Nigeria. He won his first NBA championship with the Houston Rockets in 1994, beating the New York Knicks in seven games behind his 26 points per game, nine

rebounds per game , and four blocks per game, earning a Finals MVP in the process. Just three months prior to this, a kid named Joel Embiid was born in neighboring African nation Cameroon.

As most know, Embiid — like Olajuwon — learned to play basketball at a very late age. Embiid’s first competitive season of basketball was in 2011, and he played Division One basketball at Kansas just two years later. His array of moves mimicked Olajuwon’s game, and enhanced his draft stock and potential for his NBA career in the eyes of many scouts.

Embiid vs. Olajuwon

Drew Hanlen is a pretty familiar name in Philadelphia 76ers nation right now, especially with his current work with Markelle Fultz. Hanlen has worked with Embiid for quite some time, and also trains NBA players Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum, Andrew Wiggins, and Zach LaVine, to name a few.

Today, Hanlen dropped this video on Twitter comparing Joel Embiid’s post game to that of Hakeem Olajuwon with real-game examples. It’s almost scary how much Embiid resembles the legendary big man, especially at such a young age.

Drop-steps, ball fakes, crossover moves, and even the signature “Dream Shake.” We are witnessing the literal second coming of Hakeem Olajuwon in our very own Joel Embiid. Olajuwon even admitted this himself, saying in a 2017 interview that “I can see myself” in Joel Embiid.

The craziest part about all of that is that this was not even the player Joel Embiid was projected to become. However, many experts around the league even consider Embiid’s offensive game to have more potential than Olajuwon’s ever did with his ability to shoot the three-ball and handle the basketball.

The comparison is clear and obvious, and Joel Embiid is still only 24 years old. Through his first two seasons in the NBA as the Philadelphia 76ers’ best player, he’s averaged 22 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks while also developing into one of the biggest personalities in the NBA.

With a fully healthy offseason underway, Embiid is primed for an MVP-caliber season, as he tries to follow in the footsteps of his childhood hero, Hakeem Olajuwon.