Manute Bol was a Sudanese-born American basketball player and political activist. Listed at 7 ft 7 in (2.31 m) tall, he was one of the two tallest players in the history of the National Basketball Association, along with Gheorghe Mureșan. He was officially measured and listed at 7 feet 6 3⁄4 inches (2.305 m) tall in the Guinness Book of World Records. He is believed to have been born on October 16, 1962 in either Turalei or Gogrial, Sudan (now South Sudan). He was the son of a Dinka tribal elder who gave him the name “Manute”, which means “special blessing”.
Bol played for two colleges and four NBA teams over his career. 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, Bol blocked more shots than he scored points, making him the only NBA player ever to do so. He is second all-time in NBA history in terms of average blocked shots per game, and ranks 15th on the career blocks list. He is also the only player in NBA history to have killed a lion with a spear and to have paid 80 cows for his wife.
His former teams, and the NBA, issued statements in recognition of his impact on the sport of basketball and on his native Sudan.
A salute to Bol took place on the floor of the United States Senate just a few days after his death.
– via 100 NBA Facts