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Layups: R.I.P. Manute Bol (1962-2010)

Posted by Neil Paine on June 19, 2010

Sad news today -- Manute Bol, a noted humanitarian and, at 7'7", the tallest player in NBA history, has died at the age of 47.

Bol died at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville, where he was being treated for severe kidney trouble and a painful skin condition, Tom Prichard, executive director of the group Sudan Sunrise, said in an e-mail.

"Sudan and the world have lost a hero and an example for all of us," Prichard said. "Manute, we'll miss you. Our prayers and best wishes go out to all his family, and all who mourn his loss."

On the court, Bol was not an All-Star, but he was highly respected for his character, and his ability to swat away opposing shots was truly amazing... In fact, he was easily the best shot-blocker in NBA history (or at least since the league first kept the stat in 1974).

Off the court was where Bol really shined, though. "Manute" means "Special Blessing" in Dinka, and he certainly lived up to his name as an activist for the poor in his native Sudan. After he retired from the NBA, Bol had made it his mission to build schools throughout his homeland, in addition to numerous other charitable projects.

Both NBA fans and the people of Sudan lost a great role model today in Manute Bol. May he rest in peace.

13 Responses to “Layups: R.I.P. Manute Bol (1962-2010)”

  1. Jason J Says:

    Oh, man. One of my all-time favorite 76ers. Love the stories Charles tells about Bol. RIP.

  2. mtindore Says:

    Truly a great loss for the nba and the world as a whole. a guy who blocked nearly 6 shots per night but also showed what it meant to give back, truly a warrior. RIP Manute.

  3. Jerry Says:


  4. RobertAugustdeMeijer Says:

    His great life would be worthy of a movie. Might be hard to find somebody to play him, though.

  5. Myles Says:

    I second that previous post. Who could possibly play Manute Bol in a movie? Darryl Dawkins once said of Manute, "If he fell down he would be halfway home." He good naturedly and sportingly talked a lot of trash in the games, saying stuff like "You no dunk on me. I dunk on you!" to the biggest name stars. And they all loved and respected him.
    He will be remembered and missed. R.I.P. Manute.

  6. Fred Towes Says:

    Peace & Blessings, with deepest affection, for Brother Manute. The Dinka have lost a proud exemplar of towering greatness. I offer condolences to the game of basketball, to the clan, and to the nation.

    Rest eternal.

  7. huevonkiller Says:

    A great humanitarian, I feel awful for his family. R.I.P.

  8. RonAndersonFanClub Says:

    As a side note, is he the only player in NBA history with more career blocks than career points?

  9. Ryan Says:

    Here's a guy that I don't believe any sane person could hate. That's the mark of a great human being. R.I.P Manute.

    Why'd you jack up 205 three-pointers, though? LOL.

  10. Neil Paine Says:

    Why the 3-pointers? Because Nellie was the ultimate mad scientist coach. If you've got a great shot-blocking center who can't score around the basket, rebound, or post up because he's too thin, what do you do with him on offense? You realize that at 7-7 his shot is totally unblockable, so you teach him to serviceably shoot 3s and have him hang around at the arc, drawing the opposing center away from the lane.

  11. Ryan Says:

    Except it never really worked.

  12. Neil Paine Says:

    In fairness, he was only under Nellie's tutelage for 2 seasons. If those two had been paired together longer, who knows what would have happened? :)

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