The Hall of Famer has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and is seeking treatment in Atlanta. The NBA announced the news Saturday and wished him the best in his fight against the tumor.
“NBA Global Ambassador and Basketball Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo is currently undergoing treatment for a brain tumor. He is receiving the best care possible from a collaborative team of specialists in Atlanta and is in great spirits as he begins treatment,” read the statement. “Dikembe and his family ask for privacy during this time so they can focus on his care. They are grateful for your prayers and good wishes.”
In staying private, the family hasn’t revealed any other news like the type of tumor, its seriousness, or any other details.
Mutombo played in the NBA for 18 seasons after getting his start with the Denver Nuggets from 1991 to 1996. He’d then played with the Atlanta Hawks for four seasons before having stints with the New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks before ending his career with the Houston Rockets in 2009. His staggering 7’2″ height helped him win the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year four times and beat Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for second place in the most career blocks with 3,289. Behind only Hakeem Olajuwon’s 3,830.
Upon retiring, he was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015 but more importantly, his philanthropic efforts began to flourish as he grew his foundation to improve the living conditions in his native Congo, building a hospital, and helping grow the sport through NBA Africa.
…And you can’t forget his iconic finger wave.
NBA Twitter is sending their thoughts and prayers to the NBA legend: