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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Manute Bol Dies


By Norris McDonald

Manute Bol died today. He was 47 years old. He spent 10 seasons in the NBA with Washington, Golden State, Philadelphia and Miami. He was dedicated to humanitarian work in Africa and was in the process of trying to build schools throughout Sudan. Bol died at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville, where he was being treated for severe kidney trouble and a painful skin condition.

He is pictured at right with Washington Bullets teammate Mugsy Bogues. Bogues is a Wake Forest alum (my alma mater) and he would get us passes to basketball games on occassion. Frank Johnson played with the Bullets then too (another Wake alum - we lived in the same apartment complex near the Capital Centre).

I met Manute Bol in 1987 when he played with the then Washington Bullets (now Wizards). He played pool at a little strip mall near the Captal Centre (now demolished). I lived nearby and would stop by to play pool on occassion. One day as I was leaving, Manute was standing outside looking anxious. I asked him if there was a problem and he said his ride had not arrived and he needed to get home. I offered him a ride and he stretched all the way across the back seat (He was 7 feet 7 inches) of my Chevy. When we got to his townhouse he invited me in to drink beer. He said the team had him drinking lots of beer to help gain weight. I was a huge beer drinker back in those days so we chugged beers and listened to music. Bol was cool. (AP)
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