While the basketball community was going cuckoo over LeBron’s rumored exit from Cleveland, another sports giant quietly left our midst. I admit, I also got caught up in the Summer of Lebron frenzy and forgot to pay respect to one of my favorite people, Manute Bol.
Manute Bol, the 7’7″ Sudanese Center known for his shot-blocking prowess, died of complications arising from kidney failure and Stevens-Johnson syndrome on June 19th, 2010. He was the epitome of the human spirit at its most selfless. Most of the $3.5 million Bol earned in his career went toward his Ring True Foundation established to fight poverty in Sudan.
Bol wasn’t the type of person who picked up humanitarian projects in order to rack up PR points or to benefit from tax breaks. He gave because he was a goodhearted man who genuinely cared about the welfare of others. We’ll miss your smile and your generous spirit.
We’ll also remember you for the funnies.
Bol was the only man in history to slay a lion with a spear, sink 12 3-pointers in a game, and popularize a catchphrase. He planned to build 41 schools in Sudan before death snatched him away. Hopefully, someone will see to it that his dream lives on.
Rest in power, big fella.