This story is a true and inspiring.
Dikembe Mutombo, the 7’2″ center who played 14 seasons in the NBA, was born into an impoverished family in Zaire (now named Congo) but made it to Stanford University on scholarship before being drafted by Denver Nuggets. By his early twenties he had become one of the league’s top defensive players, earning him four Defensive Player of The Year Awards as well as two All-Star Game Most Valuable Player awards.—This story provides readers with insight into how to give back when you have been given so much.
Dikembe Mutombo is a retired basketball player who has won four NBA championships. He was also the first player in NBA history to record 100 blocks in a single season. In addition, he has been involved in many charity events and is known for his charitable donations to Africa.
Dikembe Mutombo’s mother got him in to witness ‘The Rumble In The Jungle’ between undefeated world heavyweight champion George Foreman and famous former champion Muhammad Ali when he was eight years old.
As you may recall, Ali demonstrated why he is the best by beating Foreman using the “rope-a-dope” strategy.
You’d think that for any eight-year-old child from Leopoldville, Democratic Republic of the Congo, this would be the pinnacle of his life.
Dikembe Mutombo, on the other hand, was just getting started. Mutombo moved to the United States in 1987 to study at Georgetown University. He wanted to be a doctor when he grew up.
When John Thompson, the coach of the Georgetown Hoyas, approached him about playing basketball, his intentions changed. Mutombo played basketball, so that’s what he did.
Mutombo soon established himself as a formidable opponent. He blocked 12 shots in a game during his first year of basketball.
Georgetown supporters built a “Rejection Row” area beneath the hoop with teammate Alonzo Mourning.
For each shot blocked throughout the game, they featured a large silhouette of an extended hand on a banner.
Mutombo won two Big East Defensive Player of the Year awards for his defensive brilliance (1990,1991).
Career in the NBA
The Denver Nuggets needed to add a big man to their squad when the NBA Draft rolled around in 1991. As a result, the Nuggets picked Mutombo with the fourth overall selection.
Mutombo’s shot-blocking abilities helped him make an immediate impression as a rookie. In fact, Mutombo was featured in an Adidas ad that year.
The slogan “Man does not fly… at the mansion of Mutombo” was used in the ad.
Mutombo averaged 16.6 points, 12.3 rebounds, and almost three blocks per game in his debut season.
As a rookie, he was named to the All-Star squad, but he fell short of earning the Rookie of the Year Award, which went to Larry Johnson of the Charlotte Hornets.
Mutombo helped his Nuggets achieve history towards the end of the 1993–94 season.
The Nuggets concluded the season with a 42-40 record, good enough for the eighth spot in the Western Conference playoffs.
The Nuggets played the top-seeded Seattle SuperSonics, who had won 63 games in the regular season.
The Nuggets were the first eighth seed to overcome a number one seed in the playoffs, thanks to Mutombo’s 12.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, and 6.2 blocks per game.
The Nuggets took a 3-2 lead in the series. Despite losing 4-3 in the following round to the Utah Jazz, Mutombo’s Nuggets will be remembered for their extraordinary feat.
Mutombo will earn his first of four NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards the following season.
After blocking a shot, Mutombo became renowned for his theatrics. He’d wave his finger in the face of his opponent, indicating that they shouldn’t bring the ball into the paint.
Mutombo would play in the NBA until the 2008-09 season, finishing his 18-year career. He also led the league in blocks three times, rebounding twice, and made the All-Star team eight times, in addition to his four Defensive Player of the Year awards.
Mutombo never won an NBA championship, despite reaching the NBA Finals with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2001. He’d met Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant in their peak and lost 4-1 to them.
Mutombo’s excellence ensured that his name will be nominated for the Basketball Hall of Fame once he retired. His name would be called, and he would be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015.
Mutombo has shown that his biggest success in life is not playing in the NBA after resigning from the league.
Mutombo’s humanitarian efforts began in 1997, when he grew dissatisfied with the living circumstances in his home DRC.
Mutombo founded the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation in an attempt to promote change to his native nation. The Dikembe Mutombo Foundation’s mission statement reads, “The objective of the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation is to:
“The Dikembe Mutombo Foundation is devoted to helping the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s health, education, and quality of life.” The Foundation works to achieve this aim by focusing on primary health care and disease prevention, health policy advocacy, health research, and expanded access to health care education for Congolese people.”
In Kinshasa, Mutombo established the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital, which he named after his mother. The hospital has treated nearly 500,000 patients since its inception.
Mutombo funded the Zaire women’s basketball team’s clothes and costs at the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, in addition to his foundation and hospital.
Mutombo took part in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program in 2004. He and several NBA players went on a trip to Africa to promote basketball and improve infrastructure.
In 1999 and 2000, Sporting News named Mutombo one of the “Good Guys in Sports.” He was one of 20 recipients of the President’s Work Awards, the nation’s highest award for voluntary service, in 1999.
Mutombo joined Ask The Doctor’s team as their chief global officer in April of 2020. Ask The Doctor is a website that links individuals from all around the globe with top physicians and healthcare providers.
Dikembe Mutombo transitioned from being a defensive stalwart in the NBA who blocked shots to an attacking force in the realm of good deeds.
If we all followed Mutombo’s lead, we may be able to make the world a better place.
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Dikembe Mutombo: A Story About Blocked Shots And Charitable Donations To Africa, is an article about Dikembe Mutombo’s life. It details his charitable donations to Africa and the struggles he faced when trying to make a difference for people in need. Reference: charities.
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