Renown Sudanese Basketball Player Dies

Published on Sunday 20th June 2010

Manute Bol, of Sudan, who became famous for playing basketball in the United States and contributed millions of dollars to help the Sudanese, died on Saturday. He was 47.

News reports said he died of kidney failure. The Washington Post reported that this was due to complications from a rare skin disease that Bol contracted from a medication he had received in Africa.

Bol was one of the tallest players in professional U.S. basketball history. He was discovered in Sudan in the 1980s by an American coach working there. In Sudan Bol had been a cattle herder.

When he came to the United States in his late teens he spoke no English but soon learned and endeared himself to players and fans alike for his generous and sunny personality. With his height as an advantage Bol became a spectacular shot blocker on the basketball court.

Off the court and after his basketball career ended, Bol had less good fortune. He lost money in poor business deals, sometimes appeared in embarrassing promotional stunts to raise money and was critically injured in a car accident.

He recovered but was plagued by health problems. He lived for the past few years in the state of Kansas.



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