LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 25: Simone Biles performs during the Gold Over America Tour at Staples Center on September 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)

March Madness is in full effect and what better way to keep the momentum going than to give you our list of top 5 professional Black athletes in Houston. Hey, you might agree or disagree, either way, let’s give a shout out to these athletes who contributed to putting the city on the map.

16 Feb 2001: Hakeem Olajuwon #34 of the Houston Rockets stands on the court during the game against the Orlando Magic at the Compaq Center in Houston, Texas. The Magic defeated the Rockets 108-93. NOTE TO USER: It is expressly understood that the only rights Allsport are offering to license in this Photograph are one-time, non-exclusive editorial rights. No advertising or commercial uses of any kind may be made of Allsport photos. User acknowledges that it is aware that Allsport is an editorial sports agency and that NO RELEASES OF ANY TYPE ARE OBTAINED from the subjects contained in the photographs. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons /Allsport


  • Drafted by the Rockets in 1984
  • 2-time NBA Champion
  • Olajuwon ended up making the All-Star team 12 times, was voted Defensive Player of the Year twice, and finished as the regular season and finals MVP in 1994
  • Olajuwon became the first player in NBA history to record at least 200 steals and 200 blocks in a season during 1988-89, and led the league with 14 rebounds and a staggering 4.6 blocks per game the following year.
  • Olajuwon became the first player in NBA history to win the Most Valuable Player, Finals MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards in the same season.
HOUSTON, TX – JANUARY 05: Former Houston Oilers running back Earl Campbell attends the game between the Houston Texans and the Cincinnati Bengals during their AFC Wild Card Playoff Game at Reliant Stadium on January 5, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)


  • Became the first Texas Longhorn to win the Heisman after leading his team undefeated in the regular season in 1977
  • Joined the Houston Oilers as the first player taken in the 1978 National Football League Draft
  • In 1978, he was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player, All-Pro, and Rookie of the Year. He won the league rushing championship with 1,450 yards and was named to the AFC Pro Bowl squad.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 25: Simone Biles performs during the Gold Over America Tour at Staples Center on September 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)


  • Most decorated female gymnast with 30 world and Olympic medals and the world’s third most decorated
  • She has 19 gold medals from the world championships, along with three silvers and three bronzes. Those 19 golds are the most ever, and the 25 total medals are the most ever.
  • Accomplished a U.S. record with four gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics. (Team, All-Around, Vault and Floor Exercise) and a bronze in the Balance Beam. Those four golds tied for the most by a United States gymnast.
  • Became the first woman ever to land the Yurchenko double pike in competition.
CLEVELAND, OHIO – FEBRUARY 20: Clyde Drexler reacts after being introduced as part of the NBA 75th Anniversary Team during the 2022 NBA All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on February 20, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)


  • One of the best shooting guards of his generation
  • Clyde Drexler is one of three NBA players in history to top 20,000 points, 6,000 rebounds and 3,000 assist
  • Drexler played a starring role on the famed “Phi Slamma Jamma” team that made two consecutive appearances in the NCAA’s Final Four.
  • In 12 seasons with Portland, Drexler was an eight-time All Star and led the Trailblazers to the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992
  • Helped lead the Rockets to the franchise’s second NBA championship.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 28: Former New York Giants player Michael Strahan speaks during the ceremony to retire his number at halftime of the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 28, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

MICHAEL STRAHAN- Former Defensive End, New York Giants

New York Giants drafted him in the second round in 1993

Strahan was named to seven Pro Bowls and four All-Pro first teams.

He holds the NFL record for sacks in a single season with 22½ and the Giants record for career sacks with 141½.

Strahan was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s.

Laura Onyeneho

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...