Manute Bol Dies

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Manute Bol, a lithe 7-foot-7

shot-blocker from Sudan who spent 10 seasons in the NBA and was

dedicated to humanitarian work in Africa, died Saturday. He was 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."

Bol played 10 seasons in the NBA with Washington, Golden State,

Philadelphia and Miami and later worked closely as an advisory

board member of Sudan Sunrise, which promotes reconciliation in

Sudan. Bol averaged 2.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.3 blocked shots.

"Manute's impact on this city, our franchise and the game of

basketball cannot be put into words," 76ers president and general

manager Ed Stefanski said in a statement. "He ... was continually

giving of himself through his generosity and humanitarian efforts

in order to make the world around him a much better place, for

which he will always be remembered."

Bol was hospitalized in mid-May during a stopover in Washington

after returning to the United States from Sudan. Prichard said then

that Bol was in Sudan to help build a school in conjunction with

Sudan Sunrise but stayed longer than anticipated after the

president of southern Sudan asked him to make election appearances

and use his influence to counter corruption in his home county.

He said Bol had undergone three dialysis treatments and

developed Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a condition that caused him to

lose patches of skin.

Prichard said the skin around Bol's mouth was so sore that he

went 11 days without eating and could barely talk.

Prichard said it's believed that Bol contracted the skin disease

as a reaction to kidney medication he took while in Africa.

Janis Ricker, operations manager of Sudan Sunrise, said Saturday

that the organization would continue its work building the school

in Bol's home village in southern Sudan. The building still lacks a

second floor roof, she said.

She said Bol's goal was to build 41 schools throughout Sudan.

"We are in the process of still helping Manute build a school,

and we will continue with that," Ricker said.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)