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Former NBA Star Manute Bol Dies

6/19/2010 12:15 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0619_manute_bol_getty_bnManute Bol -- best known for being one of the tallest players to ever play in the NBA -- died today, according to various reports.

Bol was hospitalized in Virgina back in May after suffering acute kidney failure.

Bol played in the NBA from 1985-1994 and was one of the best shot blockers in the league. Bol was extremely involved in charities in his native Sudan -- donating an estimated $3.5 million aid Sudanese refugees.

He was 47.

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He blocked more shots than scored points (blocking 2,086 shots and scoring 1,599 points). That is just an amazing feat. Some current "stars" in the NBA could learn something called defense from Mr. Bol's box score. May he RIP. Thank you TMZ for featuring someone on your page that is really worth the read. Maybe someday. you'll bump such stories to the top of the page.

1551 days ago


"best known for being one of the tallest players to ever play in the NBA", Well TMZ, how tall was he? Does not TMZ have any editors?

1551 days ago


@ MIKE!!! due to lack of purging toxins/wastes, a person becomes darker with more ac***ulation of waste materials.

Grow UP.

R.I.P. Manute Bol America's gentle & giving Giant we'll always remember your game of basketball. I remember when you first went to NBA. They did a really nice NBA special on Manute back in December. Most of these athletes today too busy trying to get REality showed & show off their prize possessions on MTV Crib. Manute shows great PRide/chracter, consideration & integrity.

1551 days ago


Mullin, current Golden State Warriors executive vice president and former teammate, was one who took to Manute and helped him during his time in the NBA.

“We got to know each other beyond basketball; beyond the hype,” Mullin said.. “Friendship is based on a lot of things, based on real life, being there for each other, good times and bad. That’s life to me; it’s the circle of life.”

Mullin was touched when Bol named one of his children Chris, in honor of his teammate of two seasons in Golden State. “That’s his way of saying how much he thinks of me, a beautiful tribute … pretty incredible.”

Off the court, Bol took on a great responsibility to help his people in Sudan.

“It was 1991 that I first see Sudan on TV, when the government was killing my people," Bol said. "I said, ‘This cannot be right, I have to do something.’ I decided to become a fighter. I felt I made a lot of money and I should give it back to my people.”

Bol, who would set up a relief fund and raise money to take food and medicine to refugee camps, continued, “I went to the Pentagon myself, and told them, ‘We are being wiped out by Islamic fundamentalists.’ I try to educate them … nobody believe us, I feel like a fool.”

Chicago Bulls rookie Luol Deng, also originally from the Sudan, was influenced at an early age by Bol and what he calls his "big heart".

"I met him when I was seven years old in Egypt," Deng told an NBA Entertainment crew in an interview this season. "He came to Egypt and was teaching my brothers. I was too young at the time. He saw a bunch of guys playing basketball with no rules. He taught us the rules and how to play the game … the fundamentals."

Deng stressed that Bol's legacy is much more than basketball to those living in the Sudan. "When you say 'Manute' to us, we think about the stuff he did (to help the people) … we don't think about basketball until after. The things that he did that he didn't need to do. He wasn't going to be happy if he didn't help his people."

Deng is keenly aware of Bol’s contribution to his own path to the NBA.

"If Manute didn't have that love for his people and always trying to help others, I might not be here today."

1551 days ago



1551 days ago

David B.    

Late in his career, Bol was a very good 3-point shooter, so he had talent both at and away from the basket.

Rest in peace.

1551 days ago


He was 7'6" but some say he may have been 7'7".

1551 days ago

TV Gord    

I'm very happy to see mostly glowing tributes to this great, great man. I was a little afraid to come here. Thanks for reaffirming my faith in humankind, (almost) everyone.

The first time I saw Manute was back on the old Late Night with David Letterman show. Dave used him in some good-natured comedy bits and he was a gentle giant who clearly enjoyed making people laugh. Then, after his retirement, he let the humanitarian side of himself shine, and it became clear he enjoyed making people happy. I hope the people of Sudan will continue to work toward a peaceful chapter in their history, in Manute's memory.

Thanks again for the class, TMZ posters.

1551 days ago

dan the man    

To be honest, he wasn't even an average NBA player. He was slow and mediocre skills. He made lucky 3pt shots, payed decent defense, but horrible in the low post area. Great man off the court, so RIP.

1551 days ago


what a great man!!! I work in a casino in Atlantic city and he was a regular crap player there. Always happy to take photos with people never mean or nasty even when drunks would say stupid things to him (aka how's the weather up there?)When he played the table he was the only guy I saw that the casino would allow to sit when playing craps. Great tipper too!!!
I had no idea who he was but when he walked in if you were on the other end of the casino you saw him walk in. People would stare and do a double take but it never bother him. What a great great man!!!!
Dealt poker for Dr J and HE IS A TOTAL *******!!!! big time!!!! yelled at us all the time. BTW also Bill Cosby is a racist. only want he's brother and sister to deal for him, serve him or even talk to him!!!! HE'S exact words not mine!!!! One time a white dealer took over a black dealer on he's game he told"look you white piece of **** go get me a brother to deal for me cause all white people want black people to lose" I was right there on the next table when he said that!!!!

1551 days ago


TV Gord, i'm like you, almost didn't come to this 'cause didn't want to read a bunch of dumb asz remarks. but, i guess as long as there are people like me responding to them, they'll continue to make them. however, there's nothing wrong with looking like a brownie--ummm deep dark chocolate...delicious!


1551 days ago


Good Bye to a Good Guy! May he rest in Peace. Given all the selfish slugs in Pro sports, Bol was clearly a great man.

1551 days ago


Wow, how young.... very sad. Rest in peace Mr. Bol :)

1550 days ago

Love Star Wars    

Kidney disease is one of those sneaky, fast killing diseases. By the time it is recognized in the individual it can be too late.

I'm sorry it happened to this generous athlete.

Donate to the National Kidney Foundation.

1550 days ago


We have to remember he didn't grow up around basketball, he was targeted to play because he was so tall. I used to watch him with the Golden State Warriors, he was interesting to watch move as his legs were so long and lanky. He was a crowd pleaser, we loved him. His off court work was inspiring. He was a great man and he will be missed. RIP Thanks for the wonderful memories.

1550 days ago
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