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Hasheem Thabeet
Memphis Grizzlies  – No. 34
Born February 16, 1987 (1987-02-16) (age 23)
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Nationality Tanzanian
Listed height 7 ft 3 in (2.21 m)
Listed weight 267 lb (121 kg)
College UConn
Draft 2nd overall, 2009
Memphis Grizzlies
Pro career 2009–present
Former teams Dakota Wizards (2010)
Awards NABC Defensive Player of the Year (2008)

Big East Player of the Year (with DeJuan Blair) (2009)

Hasheem Thabeet (born Hashim Thabit Manka on February 16, 1987 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania[1]) is a Tanzanian professional basketball player. He currently plays for the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA. He was drafted with the 2nd overall pick by the Grizzlies in the 2009 NBA Draft after playing with the Connecticut Huskies. At 7 ft 3 in (2.21 m) and 263 lb (119 kg), Thabeet was the tallest player ever to play for the Huskies.[2] He did not begin to play basketball until the age of 15, when he began to watch pickup games in Tanzania.[2]


University of Connecticut



As a freshman, he averaged 6.2 points and 3.8 blocks per game.[3] On December 3, 2006, Thabeet tied a UConn record with 10 blocks.[4] Thabeet was named to the 2007 All-Big East Rookie Team, along with fellow 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.[3] On January 5, 2008, he tied his career high in blocks with 10 in the Huskies' 73-67 loss at University of Notre Dame.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7] 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 NBA player who was born in Tanzania.

NBA Career


In a November 10 game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Thabeet suffered a fractured jaw, and was out for a couple of weeks.[8] On December 13, 2009, he had a season-high five blocks.[9]

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, Memphis' North Dakota based affiliate.[10] He was the highest drafted player ever to be sent to the NBA Development League. Thabeet was recalled on March 8, 2010.[11]

Personal life

Thabeet is the son of Thabit Manka and Rukia Manka. His mother, Rukia, resides in Dar es Salaam. He has one sister, Sham, and one brother, Akbar. [12]


External links


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