Born: June 25, 1966
Place of Birth: Léopoldville, DR Congo
Zodiac Sign: Gemini
Career and Life
Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo is a Congolese American retired professional basketball player. Mutombo played 18 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Outside basketball, he has become well known for his humanitarian work.
The 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m), 260-pound (120 kg; 19 st) center, who began his career with the Georgetown Hoyas, is commonly regarded as one of the greatest shot blockers and defensive players of all time, winning the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award four times; he was also an eight-time All-Star. On January 10, 2007, he surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the second most prolific shot blocker in NBA history, behind only Hakeem Olajuwon. He averaged a double-double for most of his career, and is 12th all-time in career double-doubles, and tied for second all-time in career triple doubles involving points, rebounds and blocks.
At the conclusion of the 2009 NBA playoffs, Mutombo announced his retirement. On September 11, 2015, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
In 1994 Mutombo was to marry Michelle Roberts, a medical student, but the wedding was canceled when Roberts refused to sign a prenuptial agreement the day before the wedding.
In 1987, Mutombo's 6'10" older brother, Ilo, began playing college basketball in Division II for the Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles as a 26-year-old freshman. The brothers played against each other in a 1990 game at the Capital Centre.
He eventually married his wife, Rose, who is also from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They have six children, four of whom are adopted.
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. More recently, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Georgetown University in 2010. There he delivered the commencement address for Georgetown College of Arts and Sciences, of which he is an alumnus. He also received an honorary doctorate from Haverford College in May 2011.
In November 2015, the NCAA announced Mutombo as a recipient of its Silver Anniversary Awards for 2016. The awards are presented annually to six former NCAA athletes on the 25th anniversary of the final academic year of their college careers, recognizing both excellence of play while in college and professional achievement after college. The announcement cited both his basketball career and extensive humanitarian work.
Mutombo's nephew Harouna Mutombo played college basketball for the Western Carolina Catamounts and professionally in Europe. Harouna was the team's leading scorer for the 2009 season and was named Southern Conference Freshman of the Year. His nephew Haboubacar Mutombo also committed to play basketball at Western Carolina beginning in 2013. His nephew Mfiondu Kabengele plays college basketball at Florida State University and was the 2018-19 ACC Sixth Man of the Year.
Mutombo was among those who witnessed the 2016 Brussels bombings at Brussels Airport on March 22, 2016. Shortly after the bombings, he posted a report on his Facebook page saying that he was safe. His first post said, "God is good. I am in the Brussels Airport with this craziness. I am fine."