Dikembe Mutombo, the 7'2" Houston Rockets eight time All-Star center and father of six children [four adopted] originally intended to become a doctor. But Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson recruited him to play basketball for the Hoyas instead—even though Mutombo at the time spoke almost no English [he now speaks English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and 5 African languages]!!!
Throughout a career that ended in the 2nd game of the 2nd round of the 2009 NBA Playoffs due to a knee injury, he has used his influence as an athlete for good. Before he retired, he even built in his native country of Congo [formerly Zaire] it's first new fully equipped medical facility in 30 years. The hospital cost $14.5 million and Mutombo still travels there to teach HIV/AIDS awareness to young people.
But the other reason I really like him is because one summer while he was interning at the World Bank in DC, he took time from his lunch hour one day to snap this photo with me as a teenager [we rolled jeans back in the 80's LOL!!!] and later autographed it [his hands are behind his back because college athletes aren't paid and he couldn't afford to purchase a shirt with sleeves that would reach his wrists!!!]
Get well soon Dikembe!!! The world still needs you!!! And the world still needs YOU too. Isaiah 58:12 [NLT] says, "Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes." Please pray for Pastor Rachel and a few members of Youth Operate as they leave for Ecuador soon!!!