Retired NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo battling brain tumor

Mutombo, an eight-time NBA All-Star, is second all-time in the league for blocked shots with 3,289, behind Nigeria’s Hakeem Olajuwon. He was the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year four times.

Mutombo and Olajuwon were the first major basketball talents from Africa to make a name in the NBA, opening the door for others such as Luol Dieng and Joel Embiid.

His signature move was a finger wag, which he used to let opponents know he was not to be taken lightly.

Mutombo was drafted by the Nuggets in the first round in 1991, before heading to Atlanta and Philadelphia. He played in the NBA Finals twice, though both were losing efforts.

He wrapped up his pro career in 2009 after 18 seasons.

He started the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation in 1997 to improve the quality of life for people in his home country.

Before his time in the NBA, Mutombo was a standout for the Georgetown University Hoyas, only joining the basketball team as a sophomore and graduating with a linguistics degree. His son Ryan now plays at Georgetown.

“Please keep Dikembe and the Mutombo family in your prayers. Hoya Nation is behind you, Dikembe,” said current Georgetown coach and fellow NBA Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing.

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