Manute Bol, 7-foot-7 NBA basketball player from Sudan who relentlessly dedicated himself to humanitarian work in Africa, died Saturday. He was 47.
“Sudan and the world have lost a hero and an example for all of us,” said Tom Prichard, executive director of the group Sudan Sunrise.
Geller and Manute Bol, in front of the UN, for the Sudan Freedom Walk 2006
It is with heavy heart that I write this obituary. Manute Bol is dead. Bol, a man of extraordinary character and heart, passed away today. "Manute Bol dies at 47; towering NBA player provided aid to his native Sudan -- The 7-foot-6 Dinka tribesman specialized in shot-blocking, breaking a record in his rookie season. He sent millions of dollars to his homeland."
Both Bol and Simon Deng worked tirelessly to fight the jihad, the mass slaughter and starvation in their homeland. Manute Bol was a Sudanese-born basketball player and activist. I was fortunate to know him and march with him in the Sudna Freedom march against the jihad in Sudan that took the lives of millions.
Manute Bol, who was one of the tallest players in NBA history and gained stature off the court for his efforts to save lives in his homeland of Sudan, has died. He was 47.
Bol died Saturday at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, a spokeswoman said. She did not comment on a cause of death.
Bol's most lasting legacy may be his efforts to use his celebrity to improve conditions in war-torn Sudan.
"God guided me to America and gave me a good job," he told Sports Illustrated in 2004. "But he also gave me a heart so I would look back." (more here at LA Times)
Manute Bol called the UN a failure, said the African Union forces were weak, afraid, ineffective. He fought to have NATO stop the killing, the slavery, the unspeakable crimes against humanity.
Bol told me in our interview:
"Everyday we are losing life, losing life. If no action is taken, by next year you're gonna see a million lives lost."
Former NBA player and Dinka tribesman Manute Bol and his best friend went to over 39 Congressmen personally and met with the Pentagon in the 90's telling them that their people were being decimated by the Arab Muslims from the North and would disappear if the US did not help. He said they got nothing.
...So Manute reached into his own pockets in the millions to help support the starving refugees who had witnessed their homes and families destroyed.
And so Bol was broke. So much so that former NBA
friends held a benefit to raise $$ for his huge health bills after a
drunk cab driver flipped a car Bol was in.
Bol, who was seriously injured in a car accident in 2004, was hospitalized in May after returning to the United States from Sudan. He was helping build a school with Sudan Sunrise, a humanitarian group based in Kansas, but stayed longer than expected after the president of southern Sudan asked him to make election appearances, Prichard told the Associated Press.
"I never thought about the money I lost," Bol told the New York Daily News in 2004. "It wasn't lost. It helped Sudan."
He used his NBA career to support his extended family and relief efforts in Sudan.
But Bol's finances collapsed after he left the NBA, in part from the millions he spent on Sudan and in part from investments that went bad.
"He always did a lot for his people," Warriors coach Don Nelson told the Montreal Gazette in 2002. "He gave his own money to support his people who were starving."
Ed Stefanski, 76ers president and general manager, said in a statement Saturday that Bol "was continually giving of himself through his generosity and humanitarian efforts in order to make the world around him a much better place."
Very little media ever covered Deng and Bol's events to save Darfur. If the genocide had been done by the West, by white men, there would have been thousands there. But it was jihad ..........
Send and Bol