Saturday, June 19, 2010

Manute Bol Dies

If Sudan had a World Cup team they'd be motherfucking inspired. Perhaps another African nation will pick up the slack and win it all for Manute Bol.

This 7 foot 7 behemoth played in the NBA for ten years despite almost no basketball training. When I saw him play live in DC (they lost to Milwaukee), I received a promotional poster (see: left) featuring Manute Bol posing with Muggsy Bogues. Yeah, the Bullets knew a hot ticket when they had it back in the 80's: pair up the shortest and the tallest players in the NBA, and you've got a hot product. Or a carnival. Playoffs? Not so much.

Bol, a shot-blocking phenom (2,086 blocks in ten years & a free throw percentage of .561, better than the Celtics in the Finals), parlayed all his money and fame into trying to help the Sudan somehow survive a succession of droughts, wars, famines and genocides. After Somalia (see: true story of Black Hawk Down), the U.N. has not sought a regime change in Africa. Too bad, because the Sudan is much worse off.

The most famous Sudanese athlete in history died at 47 after contracting a rare skin disease in the Sudan which might be an allergic reaction but regardless, has no cure. A final applause for Manute Bol, a giant man of the world.

1 comment:

Andrew Wice said...

One unconfirmed twitopedia story says that he killed a lion with a spear as a young herdsman.