The Next Dream

Olajuwon's sons to play basketball at The Village School in Houston

VYPE

Originally Appeared on VYPE

HOUSTON – In the West Midlands Region of the United Kingdom, the game of basketball is not the most popular sport. Not by a long-shot.

For NBA Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon though, it was always a sport he wanted to see his sons pursue. In fact, the member of the historic Phi Slamma Jama-era at the University of Houston made a deal with his sons Abdullah and Abdul.

"Every time I'd leave them with a basketball, I'd come back in it would turn into a soccer ball," Hakeem, who spoke to VYPE in an exclusive interview, said. "Then we made a deal, once they tasted basketball they'd forget about soccer. So, I put them in a basketball club and a soccer club. After three months they forgot about soccer. I saw the passion, they started playing some games."

Originally when they moved to the UK, Abdullah admitted they had a passion for soccer. They had played it before, so they didn't mind.

With basketball becoming a viable option, Abdul admitted that once he played it, things changed.

"When we used to play soccer, I was more passionate than everybody," Abdul, who's favorite NBA players are Golden State's Steph Curry and Sacramento Kings' De'Aaron Fox, said. "But when my dad told me to forget about soccer, I really didn't believe it. But after I tasted [playing basketball], I didn't want to play anything else, I knew that was my passion."

With their love of basketball growing, Hakeem had to make a decision and knew moving back to the United States would be best for their basketball future.

"[Abdullah] is 15, if he doesn't come now, he won't really get a chance to catch up," Hakeem said. "So, that's why I moved them back here."


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Houston has lost seven of eight

Mariners ride big fifth inning to series win over Astros

Jake Odorizzi earned his second loss as an Astro Sunday. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images.

With the losing streak behind them by taking the middle game on Saturday night, the Astros returned to T-Mobile Park on Sunday afternoon to try and make it back-to-back victories to take the series. Instead, they'd suffer their seventh loss in the last eight games.

Final Score: Mariners 7, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 7-8, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ljay Newsome (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (0-2)

Odorizzi locks in through four while Houston grabs a lead

Jake Odorizzi did not start his afternoon the way he needed to in order to have a good rebound outing compared to his first start. In the 37-pitch first inning, he issued two walks and an RBI-single, putting the Mariners at a significant advantage early. Odorizzi flipped the switch, though, finding a rhythm to retire the next ten batters after that RBI-single to get through four innings with just one run allowed.

Offensively for Houston, they quickly responded to Seattle's run in the first with one of their own in the top of the second, capitalizing on some shoddy defense by Seattle to get Carlos Correa to second to set up an RBI ground-rule double by Aledmys Diaz, tying things up 1-1. It stayed that way until the top of the fifth when a leadoff walk by Chas McCormick would turn into a run after a stolen base and two sacrifice flys to give Houston a 2-1 lead.

Mariners explode for four in the fifth

The lead was short-lived, as Seattle would explode in the bottom of the fifth, getting a leadoff single and one-out walk to set up a two-RBI triple by Mitch Haniger to go ahead 3-2. That would prompt Dusty Baker out of the dugout to end Odorizzi's day and move on to Brooks Raley. Raley would not fare any better, giving up a two-run homer to Ty France to extend Seattle's new lead to 5-2. He would finish the inning, putting Odorizzi's line final: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 89 P.

Seattle takes the series

Seattle would strike again in the bottom of the seventh against Joe Smith. After a leadoff walk, the Mariners would get back-to-back one-out RBI-doubles to extend their lead to 7-2. After Smith in the seventh, Peter Solomon would make his major-league debut in the bottom of the eighth and work around a one-out walk for a scoreless inning. Houston would then come up empty in the top of the ninth, dropping the finale and the series to Seattle.

Up Next: The Astros will travel to Denver tonight and get an off day tomorrow. Tuesday night, they'll start a quick two-game set with the Rockies at 7:40 PM Central. Houston currently has Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1, 5.27 ERA) penciled in as their starter, but with ongoing illness, he has not yet been fully confirmed. For the Rockies, Jon Gray (1-1, 2.87 ERA) is expected to start.

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