NBA great Dikembe Mutombo joins Israeli group to help African town

dikembe_mutombo-humanitarFormer All-Star center Dikembe Mutombo has made a name for himself in the NBA as an expert defender and an excellent shot-blocker. Off the court, he’s praised by millions of people for his humanitarian work.

Now, with the help of an Israeli group, he’s helping turn on lights and more at his home court in Africa, Times of Israel reported.

The initiative is to bring solar power to the continent of Africa, namely to bring electricity to a hospital in Mutombo’s home town, enabling caregivers to provide help to tens of thousands who currently don’t have access to decent medical care.

Mutombo is scheduled to travel this week to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) — where he was born and raised — to inaugurate a new solar powered electricity system at the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital in Kinshasa, Mutombo’s hometown. It will allow doctors to conduct nighttime surgeries and provide refrigeration for medicines and vaccines.

Mutombo will be accompanied by an Israeli organization that specializes in bringing power to parts of Africa that have no electricity. Since its founding in 2008, the organization has completed over 66 solar and agricultural projects in villages throughout Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi and Uganda.

After retiring from the NBA, Mutombo dedicated himself full-time to humanitarian work, for which he has won another slew of awards — including one for his efforts to eliminate polio in DRC, and for the innovative medical programs at the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital and Research Center.

Mutombo and the Israeli group will also reportedly launch three other solar installations — one at an orphanage housing 150 kids, and another at a school housing 740 students.

The third solar project will be completed at Bu Medical Clinic in Bu Village outside of Mutombo’s hometown, Kinshasa. Once this installation is completed in July, the clinic will be able to serve a community of 11,000 people from 21 villages.

During his 18 year playing career, “Mt. Mutombo” was one of the most intimidating shot blockers and rebounders of all time, leading the league in blocked shots five times and rebounds four times.

Mutombo was an eight time All-Star and helped Allen Iverson to reach the 2001 NBA Finals with the Philadelphia 76ers. He played in 1196 NBA games (997 started), averaging 9.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per contest.

Mutombo led the NBA in blocks per game in 5 consecutive seasons. In 99-00 and 00-01 seasons, Mutombo also led the NBA in rebounds per game.


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