Recognizing Greatness: Dikembe Mutombo

Dikembe Mutombo

Dikembe Mutombo, photo courtesy Phil Sullivan, AP






recent article in the Houston Chronicle describes a special day in the life of NBA great Dikembe Mutombo of the Houston Rockets.

Mutombo [has] worked for more than a decade to raise funds to build and open the $29 million Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital and Research Center in Kinshasa, of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He donated approximately $19 million and has worked to raise money for its soaring operating costs.

Dikembe was recognized last week for this, and other, extraordinary displays of citizenship and philanthropy that have been the hallmark of a long and successful NBA career.  He is known, and respected, league-wide for his unparalleled philanthropy and the work he has done in his native country of Congo.

May I just add my voice of appreciation and tribute to this giant of a man.

I was privileged to be in attendance in 2004 when Operation Smile, one of our “OK Charities”, presented Dikembe with the Wilt Chamberlain Award for his philanthropic work. To hear Dikembe speak is to be immediately struck with his power and humility. It is inspiring to see this rare combination of athletic skill and social awareness, and I am honored to have crossed paths with such a human being.

To Dikembe, I say, on behalf of Operation Kids and our charitable partners: Congratulations. I can’t think of a more deserving recipient.


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