By: Taren Vaughan
When it comes to professional basketball players, the humble ones are few and far between. The majority of them spend their money on fancy clothes, iced out chains and cars that cost more than some people’s houses. Oh yes, a lot them are extremely cocky and full of themselves. But there are those select ones that are very down to earth and more than willing to give up all their riches to benefit the lives of people who need it the most. One man that lived by this philosophy was former NBA center Manute Bol.
During his career, Bol played for a number of NBA teams including the Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat and Washington Bullets. In the 1985-86 season, he led the league in blocks, averaging 5.0 per game. Labeled by the Washington Wizards (formerly the Washington Bullets) as a “true humanitarian and an ambassador for the sport of basketball”, Manute Bol contributed to more than just the sport itself. Bol was a very charitable person, donating nearly all of his salary to aid Sudanese refugees through the Ring True Foundation. The donation was approximately $3.5 million. How many pro athletes do you know that would give up their entire salary to help someone less fortunate than them? This man was truly unbelievable. Bol was instrumental in the building of a school in Sudan. But he will not be able to see the finished product.
Sadly, Manute Bol’s life ended on this past Sunday at the University of Virginia Hospital. Bol was reported to have been suffering from kidney problems along with an ailing skin condition. He was only 47 years old. Executive director of Sudan Sunrise sent his condolences to Manute’s family:
“Sudan and the world have lost a hero and an example for all of us,” “Manute, we’ll miss you. Our prayers and best wishes go out to all his family, and all who mourn his loss.” – Tom Prichard
Manute Bol was extremely large in size. But his heart was even larger. He never shied away from the opportunity to help others and never let his NBA status get to his head. Loyal unto the needy, Manute Bol will not only be remembered for his athletic abilities. But he will be forever praised for the number of lives he touched here on Earth.