Dikembe Mutombo, also known as Deke, is a Congolese-American basketball player considered one of the most exceptional defenders throughout the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA). However, many people have been curious about Mutombo’s current ventures and whereabouts since he retired from professional basketball last 2009.
Who Is Dikembe Mutombo?
Dikembe Mutombo is a former professional basketball player who is notable for being a prolific shot-blocker and defensive player throughout his career. With a total of eight All-Star awards, he eventually earned himself a well-deserved spot in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 2015.
Mutombo has switched between six teams over the course of his NBA journey. Still, his presence in the Hall of Fame attests to how he was a respectable headline player long before Michael Jordan eventually dunked on him.
The 7’2″ Congolese initially attended Georgetown University in pursuit of becoming a healthcare professional. Despite having ironically minimal command of the English language, Mutombo nonetheless sought to make himself a doctor. It’s no surprise that his tall stature had caught the attention and interest of Georgetown’s basketball team.
While Mutombo treated basketball as a means of `letting off steam,’ his excellence in the sport started to become something that earned him widespread fame and recognition until he became a living legend that most basketball players highly respect and admire now.
However, beyond the infallible mark, he left in the NBA sports, the time that he spent after playing for years on the court is something that he will ultimately be remembered and admired for.
Mutombo’s Humanitarian Ventures after Retirement
Mutombo established the Mutombo Foundation in 1997, long before he retired from professional basketball. But when a major injury has finally pushed him to retirement, he then decided to refocus his energy on charity and various humanitarian efforts. One of his major accomplishments was making the Democratic Republic of Congo part of the Special Olympics for the first time.
Accessible medical care
Beyond this, Mutombo’s primary goal was to provide better and more accessible medical care and services for fellow Congolese. His foundation mainly aimed to improve the quality of education, health, and life of the Democratic Republic of Congo citizens.
His foundation also continually strives to meet this goal by prioritizing better disease prevention and healthcare, health research, and health policy prioritization. Mutombo ultimately seeks to increase the accessibility of health care education that his fellow Congolese deserves.
This tireless pursuit and venture have earned him recognition from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Public School of Public Health. Because of his noble efforts, they awarded Mutombo with the Goodermote Humanitarian Award in 2011.
During the ceremony, the prestigious institution recognized and praised his work for making medical care accessible in his home country, alongside his relentless pursuits to fight polio across the globe.
Mutombo’s drive for doing charity and humanitarian efforts seems to be endless. In fact, various global health initiatives often cite the former NBA personality as a generous contact for diverse global connections within the world of healthcare.
While Mutombo prioritizes establishing relations between Congo and the United States, his years of tireless work have made him an essential figure in the coordination of healthcare efforts worldwide.
Just recently, the Harvard University Medical School had given Mutombo his most formal honor yet. The ceremony that transpired during this process had delved into his lifetime of impressive achievements.
At the same time, a special focus was specially reserved for his state-of-the-art hospital located in Kinshasa, Congo. This hospital was the first of its own that was efficiently capable of dealing with acute cancer cases that occurred in the region for decades. It was also recognized for providing the best medical care in the entire area until today.
Love for coffee
Apart from being a figurehead for humanitarian ventures, Mutombo also shared a venture that he recently enjoys working on – coffee. Mutombo’s love for coffee had inspired him to establish his own coffee brand – something that he claims to fuel him up to start his day.
More than that, Mutombo also never fails to acknowledge how his country produces some of the best coffee there is and seeks to let the world appreciate that through his own brand.
Mutombo believes that beyond his love for coffee, venturing into this project is also in line with how he constantly wants to shine a positive light on his home country, an endearing trait that he usually does even far back in his playing days.
Now, Mukombo works on his coffee business while still being a reliable advocate for many marginalized people across the globe. He does this by taking time out of his day to urge attention to the plight and hardships that the global south faces during widespread epidemics and global pandemics.