Contrary to articles today filled with stats about Bol NBA career and record-setting shot blocking, Manute’s biggest contribution to society was his heart. The guy came to America and found fame and millions, then gave it all away to the Sudanese people and more so people who just wanted to eat and have a shirt on their back. You have to love a guy like that.
People know Manute because he was a showstopper at 7 feet and 7 inches and made them laugh when he had downtime or a lead to play with in a game and act silly trying to make a god awful 3-pointer. But people all over the world love Manute because they did not starve because of him.
Before the NBA Cares charity took players around the world to help the hungry and destitute, before it was hip. Sorry NBA the Care program is wonderful, but if you bring cameras and media along you are doing it more than just to help people. Before that, Manute was NBA Cares…an Army of One. Don’t kid ourselves, Manute was a terrible basket ball player, in fact he took out his front teeth the first time he ever tried to dunk, he knew it, coaches knew it… but you can’t teach size and he made a life out of being tall.
Manute did not squander the gift God gave him, he took it, embraced it, and then made other people happy with the gifts of that talent. Bol spent time trying to make his birthland safe and happy. He didn’t just go to villages, he went to war-torn refugee camps and visited injured kids in makeshift hospital tents. And he never took a camera with him. Bol was the spokesman for the Sudan.
If there were more people like him we would not need Sally Struthers commercials.
Thank you Manute, you made the world a better place with your contributions, maybe someone will put your face on a shirt and make your lifestyle hip and put our hearts where they belong.