52 Facts About Dikembe Mutombo


Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo was born on June 25,1966 and is a Congolese-American former professional basketball player.


Dikembe Mutombo was born on June 25,1966, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, as one of 10 children to Samuel and Biamba Marie Dikembe Mutombo.


Dikembe Mutombo's father worked as a school principal and then in Congo's department of education.


Dikembe Mutombo speaks English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and five Central African languages, including Lingala and Tshiluba.


Dikembe Mutombo is a member of the Luba ethnic group.


For high school, Dikembe Mutombo went to Boboto College in Kinshasa to lay the groundwork for his medical career as the classes were more challenging there.


At around age 16, Dikembe Mutombo decided to work on his basketball career at the encouragement of his father and brother due to his height.


Dikembe Mutombo moved to the United States in 1987 at the age of 21 to enroll in college.


Dikembe Mutombo originally intended to become a doctor, but the Georgetown Hoyas basketball coach John Thompson recruited him to play basketball.


Dikembe Mutombo spoke almost no English when he arrived at Georgetown and studied in the ESL program.


Dikembe Mutombo was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year twice, in 1990 and in 1991.


Dikembe Mutombo developed his signature move in 1992 as a way to become more marketable and gain product endorsement contracts.


Dikembe Mutombo began establishing himself as one of the league's best defensive players, regularly putting up big rebound and block numbers.


Denver failed to build on its success from the previous playoffs, as Dikembe Mutombo lacked a quality supporting cast around him.


Bernie Bickerstaff, then the Nuggets' general manager, later said not bringing back Dikembe Mutombo was his biggest regret as GM.


Dikembe Mutombo won Defensive Player of the Year both years, continuing to put up excellent defensive numbers with the Hawks.


On December 14,1999, Dikembe Mutombo scored 27 points, on 11-for-11 shooting from the field, grabbed a season-high 29 rebounds and recorded a game-high 6 blocks to pull out the win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.


One week earlier, Dikembe Mutombo played in the All-Star game; he led the game with 22 rebounds and 3 blocks.


Dikembe Mutombo was generally unable to play in the playoffs, typically serving as a sixth man during the Nets' second consecutive Finals run.


Dikembe Mutombo chose to respond in kind after a referee told him that as long as the gesture was not directed at a particular player, the league would not punish him.


Yao Ming and Dikembe Mutombo formed one of the NBA's most productive center combos.


On March 2,2007, in a win over the Denver Nuggets at age 40, Dikembe Mutombo became the oldest player in NBA history to record more than 20 rebounds in a game, with 22.


In midst of a 10-game winning streak at the time of Yao's injury, Dikembe Mutombo stepped in and helped the Rockets win 12 more games to complete a 22-game winning streak, then a team record.


Dikembe Mutombo said that the 2009 would be his "farewell tour" and his final season; he was the oldest player in the NBA in 2009.


In Game 1 of Houston's first-round playoff series against Portland, Dikembe Mutombo played for 18 minutes and had nine rebounds, two blocks, and a steal.


Dikembe Mutombo announced retirement on April 23,2009, after 18 seasons in the NBA.


Dikembe Mutombo was among the top three players in Defensive Player of the Year voting for nine consecutive seasons from 1994 to 2002.


Dikembe Mutombo is second all-time in registered blocks, behind only Hakeem Olajuwon, and is the 20th most prolific rebounder ever.


Dikembe Mutombo was an eight-time All-Star and was elected into three All-NBA and six All-Defensive Teams.


Dikembe Mutombo met his wife, Rose, during a visit to Kinshasa in 1995.


Dikembe Mutombo was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by the State University of New York College at Cortland in 2004 for his humanitarian work in Africa.


Dikembe Mutombo received an honorary doctorate from Haverford College in May 2011.


Dikembe Mutombo later was drafted in the first round of the 2019 NBA draft and signed a playing contract with the Los Angeles Clippers.


Dikembe Mutombo was among those who witnessed the 2016 Brussels bombings at Brussels Airport on March 22,2016.


Dikembe Mutombo made a cameo appearance in the 2002 films Juwanna Mann and Like Mike, which mentioned his name in its theme song "Basketball".


Dikembe Mutombo appeared in a GEICO auto insurance commercial in February 2013, parodying his shot-blocking ability by applying it to real world situations.


Dikembe Mutombo had a brief cameo in the 2021 film Coming 2 America as himself.


Dikembe Mutombo's efforts earned him the NBA's J Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 2001 and 2009.


Dikembe Mutombo paid for uniforms and expenses for the Zaire women's basketball team during the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta.


Dikembe Mutombo is a spokesman for the international relief agency, CARE and is the first youth emissary for the United Nations Development Program.


Dikembe Mutombo is a longtime supporter of Special Olympics and is currently a member of the Special Olympics International Board of Directors, as well as a Global Ambassador.


Dikembe Mutombo has been a pioneer of Unified Sports, which brings together people with and without intellectual disabilities.


Dikembe Mutombo played in the Unity Cup in South Africa before the 2010 World Cup Quarterfinal, along with South African President Jacob Zuma and Special Olympics athletes from around the world.


In honor of his humanitarianism, Mutombo was invited to President George W Bush's 2007 State of the Union Address and was referred to as a "son of the Congo" by the President in his speech.


Dikembe Mutombo's work has improved the health of the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital and Research Center is a model for the region.


Likewise, Mr Dikembe Mutombo has been instrumental in the fight against polio by bolstering vaccination efforts and bringing treatment to victims of the disease.


In 1997, the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation began plans to open a $29 million, 300-bed hospital on the outskirts of his hometown, the Congolese capital of Kinshasa.


Ground was broken in 2001, but construction didn't start until 2004, as Dikembe Mutombo had trouble getting donations early on although he personally donated $3.5 million toward the hospital's construction.


Dikembe Mutombo struggled to reassure some that he did not have any ulterior or political motives for the project.


Dikembe Mutombo's hospital is on a 12-acre site on the outskirts of Kinshasa in Masina, where about a quarter of the city's 7.5 million residents live in poverty.


Dikembe Mutombo serves on the board of trustees of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, which is a museum dedicated to the US Constitution.


In 2011, Dikembe Mutombo traveled to South Sudan as a SportsUnited sports envoy for the US Department of State.