Beyond the Paint: Dikembe Mutombo

NBA TV’s Steve Smith sits down with Dikembe Mutombo to discuss what it’s taken to give hope to his homeland the Democratic Republic of Congo.


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TEDMED 2018 Welcomes 2 New Speakers

TEDMED 2018 announced the addition of two new speakers to its upcoming event in November: former NBA All-Star and philanthropist Dikembe Mutombo and industrial designer Kathleen O’Donnell.

O’Donnell’s focus is on discovering creative solutions to help return function and mobility to patients suffering from physical injuries or movement disorders.

Mutombo has shifted his efforts toward bolstering health care access and economic opportunities for his homeland, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and across the whole of Africa.

TEDMED 2018 is slated to kick off Nov. 14-16 in Palm Springs, California.

To find out more about the event, click here.

Atlanta Sports Council to Honor Dikembe Mutombo with 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award Presented by Coca-C

ATLANTA (March 19, 2019) – Former NBA star and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Dikembe Mutombo will receive the Atlanta Sports Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award Presented by Coca-Cola at the 2019 Atlanta Sports Awards on June 20 at The Foundry at Puritan Mill. Tickets to the event are now available for purchase here.

From 1991 to 2009, Mutombo spent his days on the court, where he became known as one of the greatest shot blockers and defensive players of all time. He led the NBA in blocked shots for five consecutive seasons and blocks per game for a record three consecutive seasons. Throughout his career, Mutombo was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year four times and was an eight-time NBA All Star.

During his five seasons with the Atlanta Hawks (1996-2001), Mutombo led the team to the playoffs three times, made three All-Star Game appearances, and was twice named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. He is one of only three players to record over 1,000 blocks as a Hawk and ranks third in franchise history for rebounds per game.

“Known not only here in Atlanta but around the world for his talent and success on the basketball court, Dikembe made an unforgettable impact on the NBA,” said Dan Corso, president of the Atlanta Sports Council. “As one of the world’s foremost philanthropists and a NBA legend, Dikembe embodies all that the Lifetime Achievement Award stands for, and we look forward to honoring him on June 20.”

Mutombo played 18 professional seasons and retired second on the NBA’s career blocked shots list in 2009. In September 2015, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Off the court, Mutombo is well-known for his notable humanitarian efforts throughout the world. In 1997, Mutombo founded the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation – an organization dedicated to improving the health, education and quality of life for the people of Mutombo’s native Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Mutombo Foundation announced a plan in 1997 to open a new hospital in the Congolese capital of Kinshasa. Ten years later in 2007, the $29 million Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital, named for Dikembe’s late mother, opened its doors. It was the first modern medical facility in the region in nearly 40 years. Mutombo donated $23 million of the $29 million for the hospital, and to date, the facility and has treated nearly 500,000 patients.

Mutombo is the first Youth Emissary for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and also served on the Advisory Board for the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health.

Known for being a longtime supporter of Special Olympics, Mutombo serves as a member of the Special Olympics International Board of Directors. He also presently serves on the boards of the National Constitution Center, Opportunity International and on the National Board for UNICEF.

Mutombo has received numerous awards for his humanitarian efforts. In 1999, he was elected as one of 20 winners of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, the nation’s highest honor for volunteer service bestowed by the President of the United States. Mutombo is also the only NBA player to win the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award twice.

Upon his retirement in 2009, Mutombo was named the NBA’s first Global Ambassador for his philanthropic work. Former NBA Commissioner David Stern created the position of global ambassador for Mutombo where he reports to Executive Vice President, Social Responsibility & Player Programs, Kathy Behrens. In this role, Mutombo works to grow and celebrate the game of basketball through numerous international NBA events, including Basketball without Borders.

In addition, Mutombo works closely on NBA Cares outreach efforts with Hall of Famer Bob Lanier, who serves as special assistant to the commissioner. Mutombo helps to establish basketball centers around the world, including in South Sudan, Senegal, India, Japan, China and most recently in Israel.

On January 19, 2019, Dikembe Mutombo was awarded the Yolanda H. King, Higher Ground award by Dr. Bernice King, daughter or the late civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I am incredibly humbled to be given this prestigious recognition by the Atlanta Sports Council,” said Mutombo. “Atlanta has been my home for more than 20 years, and it is because of the support of this community and this city that I am able to give back and help make today’s world a better place. I will always be a proud Atlantan, and it is with the utmost gratitude that I accept this award.”

Mutombo will join some of Atlanta’s best in receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award, including most recently John Shuerholz (2018), Arthur Blank (2017), John Smoltz (2016), Tom Glavine (2015), the late Tommy Nobis (2014), Chipper Jones (2013), Dominque Wilkins (2012) and Bobby Cox (2011).

The Atlanta Sports Awards will be held at The Foundry at Puritan Mill on June 20, 2019. The awards, created by the Atlanta Sports Council in 2006, highlight the high school, collegiate and professional sports community in Atlanta. Tickets to the 2019 Atlanta Sports Awards can be purchased by completing this formno later than June 7, 2019.


Atlanta Sports Awards

Created in 2006 by the Atlanta Sports Council, the Atlanta Sports Awards has become a way to rally the Atlanta sports community to recognize athletic excellence on a yearly basis. The Atlanta Sports Awards honors those who distinguish themselves from among the five million people living in Atlanta. That includes all professional sports teams, universities, junior colleges and more than 250 public and private high schools in Atlanta. For more information and tickets, visit

Atlanta Sports Council

The Atlanta Sports Council (ASC), a division of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, facilitates the growth and development of sports in metro Atlanta by serving as a recruiter for major regional, national and international sports events. The organization plays an important role in improving the quality of life for residents in theregion through sports, working to drive economic growth and visibility and acting as an advocate for the area teams and annual sports events. For more information, visit

July 4th – Dikembe Mutombo spent the 4th of July in Nigeria

…along with French President Emmanuel Macron who was present at the official partnership between the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) in Lagos, which is Nigeria’s largest city. The NBA and AFD plan to collaborate on and expand their mutual and longstanding commitment  in Africa by providing basketball equipment and training to youths and coaches and teaching life skills in selected African countries.

The NBA has a long history of engagement in Africa with 12 African-born players featured on NBA rosters at the start of the 2017/18 season. There are more than 80 current and former NBA players from Africa or with direct family ties to the continent, including Naismith Memorial Basketball, Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and of course Dikembe Mutombo of Democratic Republic of Congo.

President Macron said, “I believe in a win, win game. Let’s help Africa to succeed. Let’s provide new hope for African youth in Africa.

May 2017 – NBA Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo was honored by the Harvard University Medical School for his ongoing humanitarian efforts and dedication to health care during the Global Health Catalyst Summit in Boston, MA.

The three-day summit, hosted by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Harvard Medical School, brought together African ambassadors, ministers of health, celebrity cancer advocates and global health stakeholders to discuss cancer and examine its global effects on society. For years, Mutombo has dedicated his time to charities in the United States and across the world. The former NBA All-Star spends most of his time performing charity work and acts of kindness through his Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, included hosting and participating in opportunities to feed the homeless, speak to and mentor kids around the world, and raise awareness and support for countries in Africa. He often uses basketball as a teaching tool, conducting clinics while continuing his work with NBA Cares. Mutombo, a global ambassador who has worked closely with several international organizations to help better communities around the world, was recognized for his philanthropic work and establishing the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital in his homeland, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The hospital, which has been operating since 2007, is one of the few in the area that offers services to patients with chronic illnesses and diseases such as cervical cancer.

October 2017 – At the invitation of Religions for Peace, Dikembe and Rose Mutombo traveled to Rome, Italy where Dikembe spoke at a session on Advancing Sustainable Development.

Religions for Peace is the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition working to stop war, help eliminate extreme poverty and protect the earth. The global RfP network includes a World Council of senior-most religious leaders, 5 regional councils (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and Middle East-North Africa,) and more than 90 national councils.

NBA star Mutombo visits Augusta Boys and Girls Club

The message was clear, and it came from a 7-foot-2 NBA Hall of Famer.

“School, school, school, there’s nothing else,” said Dikembe Mutombo, the guest of Mayor Hardie Davis at Augusta’s Hagler Boys and Girls Club on Tuesday. “I don’t care if you’re being raised by your grandma, your auntie, your cousin, Mom and Dad, Mom, Dad – you still have to go to school. Do we understand that?”

While many of the boys attending the Boys and Girls Club camp Tuesday had their mind on basketball, Mutombo said school is more important.

“Your Plan B is your diploma – you’ve got to go to school,” he said.


Furthermore, Mutombo has used his platform to give back to the community, creating the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, which is “dedicated to improving the health, education, and quality of life for the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” Through his Foundation, Mutombo built a hospital, the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital, named after his late mother, in his hometown, Kinshasa. Mutombo explained that he “was sick and tired of seeing young people die” and knew he had to do something. In the future, the Foundation plans to build an elementary school outside Kinshasa, with an emphasis on science and technology. Aside from the Foundation, Mutombo is on the board of the Special Olympics, a Global Ambassador for UNICEF, a NBA global ambassador, and speaks over nine languages.

Throughout his speech, Mutombo emphasized the idea of giving back to the community and leading by example. He summed this up beautifully in his closing statement regarding one’s legacy, stating, “Your legacy will be based on your behavior and contributions to human kind… The difference you are making in human society, which is how people will remember you… Leading by example, that is how people will remember you.”
Mutombo’s talk was made possible by Lawrenceville’s student-run Sports Business Club, led by President Tai Tatum ’19. “[Mr. Mutombo’s] visit took a lot of work and planning but he wanted to show Lawrenceville an example of a well-known athlete who followed his passion, mastered his craft, and made a global impact,” said Tatum.
For additional information, please contact Lisa M. Gillard Hanson, director of Public Relations, at

The Graham Bensinger Show with Dikembe Mutombo

13th annual UNICEF Snowflake Ball 2017

Dikembe and Rose Mutombo attended the 13th annual UNICEF Snowflake Ball 2017 at Cipriani Wall Street on November 28, 2017 in New York City.  Photo: Dikembe Mutombo, Caryl M. Stern, Nicolas Hieronimus, Carol J. Hamilton speak onstage during the gala.  Dikembe presented a special award presentation to L’Oréal Luxe Group President, Carol J. Hamilton.

Forbes Global CEO Conference, Hong Kong

Dikembe is pictured with Janelle Kuah, Director, Events & Communications/Forbes Asia

Houston Harvey Relief Fund receives $50,000 donation from Rockets legend Dikembe Mutombo

HOUSTON — Former Rockets player and eight-time NBA All-Star Dikembe Mutombo donated $50,000 to aid the city with Harvey relief efforts during a press conference Friday afternoon at Houston City Hall.

Mayor Sylvester Turner accepted the donation check with gratitude and distinguished Mutombo as one of several retired and still active athletes who have stepped up to support residents still struggling months after the storm. He said the former player, who has become well-known for his humanitarian work, has been an asset to the Houston community for years.

“When I saw [Mutombo] not too long ago, he said two things,” Turner said. “He was going to come visit me here at city hall…and the other thing was that he wanted to help out with the local relief fund.”

Mutombo shared just a few words, crediting the city’s support for his success. Among his accomplishments, Mutombo has built a much-needed $29 million hospital in his homeland, Democratic Republic of the Congo.  He said numerous Houston businesses, organizations and locals continue to contribute to the hospital’s operations.

“When the hurricane came in, I knew that we all had to do something,” Mutombo said. “As one of the proverbs says when there is a problem effecting one part of the society, it should be a responsibility of every human being living there and of everyone living on this planet.”

As we transition to 2018, thousands of Houstonians continue to recover from the devastation left by Hurricane Harvey.