I was really sad to hear about the passing of Manute Bol yesterday. In my mind he was the epitome of what a professional athlete should strive to be off the court.
Bol died at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville. No cause of death has been reported, but he was reportedly being treated for severe kidney trouble.
At 7?7? it comes as no surprise that he holds the record for career blocks per 48 minutes, (8.6), and blocked a record 2,086 shots, but scored only 1,599 points. He was the only player in NBA history to block more than he scored, but it was his actions off the court that really impressed me.
Throughout his career he was active in charitable causes related to his native Sudan. He visited refugee camps, and gave almost all of the money he earned in his NBA career to causes that supported the refugees of Sudan. He raised global awareness of the Sudanese with the Sudan Freedom Walk. The walk aimed at finding a solution to the genocide in Darfur.
He was a great example of what athletes, the “role models” of today’s youth, should be doing.
Manute, it is also rumored, may have started the phrase ‘my bad” that is so prevalent today.
Our thoughts go out to those who loved him and were loved by him.
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