Manute Bol and his team-mate muggsy bouges. The Dinka are the tallest people in the world. Manute Bol (October 16, 1962 – June 19, 2010) was a South Sudanese-born basketball player and political activist. At 7 ft 7 in (2.31 m) tall, he was one of the tallest men ever to play in the National Basketball Association, along with Gheorghe Mureşan.
THE LEGENDARY NBA`S TALLEST PLAYER MANUTE BOL: THE ICONIC SOUTH SUDANESE AND DINKA-BORN HUMANITARIANIST, PHILANTROPIST AND A TRUE HERO
He was officially measured and listed at 7 feet, 6 3/4 inches tall in the Guinness Book of World Records. He is believed to have been born on October 16, 1962 in either Turalei or Gogrial, South Sudan. He was the son of a Dinka tribal elder who gave him the name “Manute”, which means “special blessing.”
In Jordan Conn book about Bol “The Defender”, the author writes: “Bol lived a life befitting a man of such an outsized body. At any given moment, you could find him on a basketball court or a television screen, in a congressional meeting or a war zone, in a hut or a mansion. He sometimes gambled. He often boozed. No matter the backdrop, he always worked to ensure that those around him were happy. In time his bonds with teammates on the court, winning games and entertaining fans, would be replaced by one with a young man from his war-torn village, fighting to educate their people and free their homeland. But every moment, he was meticulously crafting the legend of Manute Bol.
Not everyone bought the lion story. When Bol played for the Philadelphia 76ers in the early 90s, his teammate Charles Barkley walked into the locker room one day saying that he’d just read about the lion feat in a newspaper. Barkley looked across the room at Bol. “Man, you didn’t kill no lion,” he said. “That lion was old and dead when you showed up.”
Teammates laughed and waited for Bol’s response, but he neither confirmed nor denied the accusation. In the locker room, he wasn’t a cattle tender; he wasn’t an African; he was a basketball player.
“F you, Charles Barkley,” he said.
Bol played basketball for many teams over his career. He played for two colleges and four NBA teams. A center, he was known as a specialist player; he was considered among the best shot-blockers in the history of the sport, but other aspects of his game were considered fairly weak. Over the course of his career he blocked more shots than he scored points. He is second all-time in NBA history in terms of average shots blocked per game, and ranks 15th on the career blocks list.