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.