Hasheem Thabeet Biography – Life, Career, Statistics and More

Hasheem Thabeet Biography – Life, Career, Statistics and More

Hasheem Thabeet (originally Hashim Thabit Manka on February 16, 1987) is a Tanzanian basketball player who is presently unsigned. He was picked second overall in the 2009 NBA draft by the Memphis Grizzlies after playing college basketball for UConn. Many commentators have dubbed him one of the NBA’s “greatest failures” due to his performance after being the second overall choice.

Hasheem Thabeet Early Years

Hasheem Thabeet didn’t start playing basketball until he was 15 years old, when he started watching pick-up games in Tanzania. Thabeet was recruited from Tanzania and spoke Swahili well but knew little English. He graduated in 2006 from Cypress Christian School in Houston, Texas, where he played high school basketball.

Hasheem Thabeet’s College Career

Hasheem Thabeet averaged 6.2 points and 3.8 blocks per game as a freshman for the Connecticut Huskies. Thabeet matched a UConn record for most blocks in a game with 10 on December 3, 2006. Along with teammate Jerome Dyson, Thabeet was chosen to the 2007 All-Big East Rookie Team.

Hasheem Thabeet received increased minutes as a sophomore, averaging 10.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 4.5 blocks per game. In the Huskies’ 73–67 defeat against Notre Dame on January 5, 2008, he matched his career best in blocks with ten. Thabeet was selected to the All-Big East second team as well as the Big East Defensive Player of the Year.

Hasheem Thabeet burst onto the national stage as a junior, averaging 13.6 points and 10.8 rebounds. On January 31, 2009, he recorded his first career triple-double against Providence College, with 15 points, 10 blocks, and 11 rebounds. He concluded the season with 152 blocks. He was selected Big East Defensive Player of the Year and shared Player of the Year honors with DeJuan Blair of Pitt. He was selected to the All-America second team as well as the National Defensive Player of the Year.

Hasheem Thabeet with Jersey Number 34 While Playing for UConn
Hasheem Thabeet with Jersey Number 34 While Playing for UConn

On March 26, 2009, Hasheem Thabeet scored 1,000 points against Purdue. That season, he was the third UConn player to accomplish so (A. J. Price and Jerome Dyson were the others). Thabeet was a key part of UConn’s return to the Final Four for the first time since 2004.

Hasheem Thabeet entered the NBA draft in April 2009, bypassing his last year of collegiate eligibility.

Hasheem Thabeet’s Professional Life

2009 to 2011 – Memphis Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies picked Hasheem Thabeet with the second overall choice in the 2009 NBA draft, ahead of two future NBA MVPs  Stephen Curry and James Harden, making him the first Tanzanian-born NBA player. He recorded a season-high five blocks on December 13, 2009.

On February 25, 2010, Hasheem Thabeet was assigned to the NBA Development League’s Dakota Wizards, and became the tallest League’s and highest-drafted player (surpassed by Anthony Bennett in 2015, the first overall choice in the 2013 NBA draft). The Grizzlies recalled him on March 8, 2010.

2011 to 2012 – Houston Rockets

Hasheem Thabeet was dealt to the Houston Rockets on February 24, 2011, along with a future first-round selection, for Shane Battier and Ish Smith. He was assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on March 21, 2011. The Rockets recalled him on April 11, 2011.

2012 – Portland Trail Blazers

Hasheem Thabeet was dealt to the Portland Trail Blazers on March 15, 2012, along with Jonny Flynn and a potential second-round selection, being traded with Marcus Camby.

2012 to 2014 – Oklahoma City Thunder

Hasheem Thabeet joined the Oklahoma City Thunder on July 11, 2012. Thabeet had his first career double-double on November 26, 2012, when he scored 13 points (a career best) and grabbed 10 rebounds in a 114–69 victory against the Charlotte Bobcats.

Hasheem Thabeet When Playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder
Hasheem Thabeet When Playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder

2014 to 2015 – Grand Rapids Drive

Hasheem Thabeet was dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers on August 26, 2014, in return for a trade exception and a protected second-round draft selection in 2015. The 76ers released him on September 1, 2014.

Hasheem Thabeet joined the Detroit Pistons on September 25, 2014. However, on October 20, 2014, he was released by the Pistons.

Hasheem Thabeet was acquired as an affiliate player of the Pistons by the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA Development League on November 1, 2014. He averaged 8.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game for the Drive in 49 games.

Hasheem Thabeet was named to the NBA D-League Select Team for the 2015 NBA Summer League in July 2015.

2017 to 2018 – Yokohama B-Corsairs

Hasheem Thabeet joined the Yokohama B-Corsairs, Japanese B.League on September 29, 2017.

2019 to 2020 – Fort Wayne Mad Ants

Hasheem Thabeet has signed with the NBA G League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants for the 2019–20 season. On January 16, 2020, he was released.

2020 to 2021 – Hsinchu JKO Lioneers

Hasheem Thabeet joined the Hsinchu JKO Lioneers, Taiwanese P. League+ on September 25, 2020. For the 2020–21 season, he was the league’s rebounding, block, and Defensive Player of the Year.

Hasheem Thabeet joined the Tainan TSG GhostHawks, Taiwanese T1 League on October 28, 2021. Thabeet will not rejoin the Tainan TSG GhostHawks on December 24, according to Chien Wei-Cheng, general manager of the Tainan TSG GhostHawks.

Private Life

Rukia Manka and the late Thabit Manka had a son named Hasheem Thabeet. Sham is his sister, while Akbar is his brother.  Thabeet is a devout Muslim who observes Ramadan.

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