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Biography of Dikembe MUTOMBO

Congo-Kinshasa > Sport : Dikembe MUTOMBO

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Born on 25/06/1966 (format : day/month/year)

Biography :

Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-jacques Wa Mutombo known as Dikembe Mutombo (b. June 25,1966) , he's playing at the position of center for the Houston Rockets. He is generally regarded as one of the greatest shot blockers and defensive players of all time, winning the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award four times.  NBA basketball player

He originally intended to become a physician; he attended Georgetown University on a USAID scholarship. Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson convinced him to play basketball. He became an excellent college center, continuing Georgetown's tradition of producing great big men. He was a celebrated shot blocker at Georgetown, setting a team record of twelve blocked shots in a single game. Building on the shot-blocking power of Mutombo and teammate Alonzo Mourning, Georgetown fans created a "Rejection Row" section under the basket, adding a big silhouette of an outstretched hand to a banner for each shot blocked during the game. While at Georgetown, Mutombo's international background and interests stood out. Like many other Washington-area college students, he served as a summer intern, once for the U.S. Congress and once for the World Bank. He was also well known around campus for his patented phrase "Who wants to sex Mutombo?" which usually generated a pretty good
 response from the coeds, who got a rise out of seeing a very large 7' 2" man with a deep Cookie Monster-like voice shouting the phrase whenever entering the Georgetown bars and clubs.

NBA star and humanitarian icon Dikembe Mutombo is set to open the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital and Research Center, a 300-bed hospital that will provide desperately needed healthcare to the impoverished population of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The facility, named after Mutombo’s late mother, is a $29 million hospital and research center that will include a special pediatric wing, surgery suites and a women’s center.

Mutombo will open the door on his life's work Sept. 2 in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, marking the completion of the $29 million Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital and Research Center.

He will stand beneath his mother's name and before a collection of friends, teammates, NBA officials, world leaders, CEOs and politicians. At that moment, he will celebrate a 300-bed hospital in what seemed to be the hopeless heart of his impoverished hometown.

"It's been nine years," Mutombo said. "You work so hard, you work, and you work. It will get rewarded.

"I think there's going to be a lot of tears in a couple of weeks. I can't wait to get there."

It has been nine years since Mutombo's mother died at 64 of a stroke. She was 10 minutes from a hospital, but civil unrest and a curfew kept her from getting treatment. Her son started the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation and began working to find a solution for the problems that he says are "killing my country."

He sought to eradicate childhood diseases that the developed world has contained but that prevent one in five children in the DRC from reaching age 5. The average life expectancy there is 42 years for men, 47 for women.

Mutombo began raising money but soon set a goal to build the first hospital in Kinshasa in nearly 40 years.

"It is a lesson of life," Mutombo said. "We all are here for a purpose. My purpose is to make a difference to society, not just by being a good human being, but to contribute to lives. I'm changing lives and the living condition of my people.

"I'm glad after living in the home of the brave for so many years in America that I'm able to do something that not so many have been able to accomplish."

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Last update : 08/20/2008

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