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Posted at 2:57 PM ET, 06/19/2010

Former Bullet Manute Bol dies at 47

By Washington Post Editors

Manute Bol, who became a basketball sensation in the 1980s as a skeletally thin shot-blocking giant with the Washington Bullets and other professional teams, and who devoted his post-basketball life to improving the lot of his fellow natives of Sudan, died June 19 at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville. He was 47.

His cousin George Bol said Mr. Bol had internal bleeding and other complications from Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a rare skin disease that he contracted from a medication he received in Africa.

Mr. Bol, one of the two tallest players in NBA history, was also one of its most exotic and endearing — and surely the only one to have killed a lion with a spear. His unusual journey to basketball stardom began in southern Sudan, where he was a cattle-herding member of the Dinka tribe and never touched a basketball until his late teens. After catching the eye of an American coach working in Sudan, Mr. Bol made his way to the United States without knowing a word of English.

By Washington Post Editors  | June 19, 2010; 2:57 PM ET
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May God bless and keep you Manute. Rest in peace.

Posted by: mstov | June 19, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Though I applaud your acknowledgement of Manute Bol's passing, referring to him as exotic put a bitter spin on this post. Mr. Bol was a charismatic, inspiring individual who utilized his platform as an athlete to create awareness about the situation in his native Sudan. I would encourage you to refrain from using the word exotic as it diminishes his humanity and his legacy.

Posted by: jab125 | June 19, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Gone home to glory! RIP to a man that stood tall in life; but whose love for his country, his people and all humanity stood much higher.

He made the NBA much more international, and shared with the world images and experiences that many of us on our "journey" could never imagine.

Posted by: 1morething | June 19, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Manute is one of my favorite sports figures of all time. I loved to see him playing basketball. His height was so impressive and he seemed to be having so much fun. I think this was do to his love for people. He was the kind of person the world needs more of.

To family members and friend,I extend my sincere prayers. He will be missed.

Thanks,Manute,and whereever you'll headed,I know you'll do a great job there,also.

Posted by: joepace | June 19, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Very sad. He really tried to do his best for Sudan, but he was one fighting many.

Check out the video tributes on the NBA site,

You will note there that those same Islamic fundamentalists whose evil we experienced on 9/11 were active much before, and we did nothing.

It's a fight to the death with them - no compromise. Remember Manute!

Posted by: davidrosenbaum | June 20, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

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