There was shock on social media when Dikembe Mutombo, a beloved NBA Hall-of-Famer, was revealed to be in a fight for life.
Fans weighed in when the NBA announced that Mutombo was in treatment for a brain tumour.
“Just wanted to take a minute and wish the best to Dikembe Mutombo who’s been diagnosed with a brain tumour. Kick its ass Dikembe,”One fan wrote.
“Thoughts with Dikembe Mutombo and his family as he’s undergoing treatment for a brain tumor….remember the time in 2018 when he flew an 8-year-old boy from the Democratic Republic of Congo to L.A. to pay for his tumor removal,”One thing led to another.
In the statement, league officials shared that Mutombo is “receiving the best care possible from a collaborative team of specialists in Atlanta and is in great spirits as he begins treatment. “Dikembe and his family ask for privacy during this time so they can focus on his care. They are grateful for your prayers and good wishes.”
The 56-year old, who is known for his fierce defense, had a long NBA playing career that spanned 18 seasons. He played for the Atlanta Hawks as well as the New York Knicks and the New Jersey Nets. In 2008, he retired.
But that’s when his other work continued. ESPN reports that Mutombo speaks nine languages and founded the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation in 1997 to improve quality of life, including education and health in Congo. His foundation constructed a hospital in Kinshasa that has served more than half a millennium of people regardless of their ability to pay.