Manute Bol died this morning at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. He was 47.
He was hospitalized on May 12 with acute kidney failure and a skin disease known as Stevens-Johnsons Syndrome. Bol’s friend, Tom Pritchard, announced Bol’s passing in a facebook message this morning. Pritchard is the executive director of Sudan Sunrise, an organization fighting revive war-ravaged Sudan, Bol’s native country.
Bol, the tallest player in NBA history at 7-foot-7, played two seasons for the Warriors (1988-89, 89-90) before returning in 1994-95, when he played just five games. In his first season with the Warriors, he averaged 4.3 blocks and knocked down 20 3-pointers with a famous over-the-shoulder set shot. Bol led the league in blocks that year, as he did his rookie season (1985-86) and ranks 14th in NBA history with 2,086 blocks.
The last several years, Bol has been an ambassador for good, especially in Africa. He exhausted his NBA earnings and risked his life effecting change in Sudan through peace efforts and educating children. Even while hospitalized, he was raising $18,000 to put a roof on a school under construction in Sudan.
He spent his entire basketball fortune and survived attacks on his life to save and improve lives in and around Sudan. He lost hundreds of family members in an ongoing war but saved or educated at least that many with peacemaking efforts.
David Aldridge wrote about Bol’s condition Monday on NBA.com. He wrote Bol had operations remove his gall bladder and a gallstone last week and his condition was stable.