Everyone who got hooked on hoops in the late eighties did so because of guys like Mike, Chuck, Larry and Magic. But the league also featured a bunch of too-good-to-be-true personalities, like Mugsy, Spud, Gheorge, A.C. and Manute, the latter of which embodied “unique” like no other. The Dinka warrior (who had never played basketball) was spotted on an african scouting tour by coach Don Feely, who invited Manute to Bridgeport, where the lanky fella once averaged (!) 11,2 blocks in a single season and knocked out his teeth while attempting the slam dunk (!!). Bol would later be drafted by the Washington Bullets, where he was a back-up to the legendary Moses Malone and played alongside Mugsy Bogues, which amounted to the smallest and tallest players in NBA history on the same squad (and quite a few cheap shots, we would presume). Manute then moved on to Golden State, Philly and Miami before ending his career in Italy due to knee problems. He remains the second best shot blocker in NBA History (3,3) behind Mark Eaton.

Manute Bol gave a large portion of his NBA dollars to charity and was always up for a laugh. He continued raising funds for his homeland of Sudan, even after being confronted with challenging personal problems. The fact that Manute was forced to succumb to clowning around as a hockey player, boxer and “the world’s tallest jockey”, is a testament to the man’s dedication. And humor. Last Saturday, Manute Bol died of a painful skin condition and kidney problems in Charlottesville, Virginina. Rest in peace, Manute. We will always remember you as one of those guys, who got us hooked to basketball …

One thought on “231 cm of heart … R.I.P. Manute Bol!

  1. J.J. says:

    When I think of the bball-players from the 80s, Manute Bol is definitly one of the players i think of… R.I.P. Manute!

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