Manute Bol, former NBA center passed away on Sunday morning at University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville. Bol died of complications from Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. He was hospitalized in May after returning from a trip to his homeland of Sudan. Manute had been in the Sudan for several months working to build a school and helping with local elections. Manute Bol dedicated his life after his NBA career to humanitarian causes in his home country.
Bol had a successful career as one of the tallest players in NBA history, standing 7 feet and 6 inches tall. He was a center for the Washington Bullets, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors and the Miami Heat.
Tom Prichard, a friend of Bol’s says “I will remember him as a man who literally gave his life for his country.”
The Sudanese athlete was treated as a pop-culture icon during his first year in D.C. He was often scheduled to do publicity shoots with people like Hulk Hogan, or being interviewed for People Magazine during his 1985 rookie season. Bol often spoke of his love for McDonald’s and while being very accessible to fans, he was a bit shaken by the attention. The Washington Post reported that Manute Bol was one of the game’s biggest attractions during the 1985 season.
Manute Bol, has been in the hospital being treated for kidney failure and Stevens Johnson syndrome since he returned from the Sudan and was optimistic about his health. He told his friend Tom Prichard “If I had stayed one more day in the Sudan I wouldn’t have made it.” Prichard said “He really thought he was going to be able to pull this off.
The hard working Manute Bol stated in an interview with the Washington Post back at the beginning of his career that “ I’m just trying to work hard all the time-in practice, in games, in lifting weights.
Sometimes players take it easy. I don’t want to do that. I want to play hard and learn my job, how to play this game. I don’t mind (the
attention) now. I think the others I’m with get more tired of it than I do. People can think what they want, I feel good about me.” This legacy will remain for the youth, the athletes and the people of the world.