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Ewing Asks for Prayers for Hoyas Legend Dikembe Mutombo (UPDATED)

The Mutombo family says Dikembe is receiving treatment

Philadelphia 76ers v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

UPDATE 10/21: Alonzo Mourning shared a message on Instagram about Dikembe.

The post states:
“Thanking God this morning!
My brotha is on the mend and in good spirits!!! Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. Prayer is truly uplifting. ”

Dikembe and the Mutombo family continue to be in the thoughts and prayers of all fans of the Hoyas and basketball. Get well, Dikembe!

The Mutombo family, through the NBA, released a statement last weekend that Georgetown Hoyas legend and Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo is currently being treated for a brain tumor. Patrick Ewing is asking for the thoughts and prayers of all Georgetown fans in support of Dikembe and the Mutombo family.

The statement says:
“NBA Global Ambassador and Basketball Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo is currently undergoing treatment for a brain tumor. He is receiving the best care possible from a collaborative team of specialists in Atlanta and is in great spirits as he begins treatment. Dikembe and his family ask for privacy during this time so they can focus on his care. They are grateful for your prayers and good wishes.”

Dikembe is, of course, known as much for his humanitarian efforts as his basketball prowess. Dikembe is as immensely popular for building hospitals in Africa as he is for his patented finger wag and “No, no, no!” after a rejection.

More recently, Hoyas fans have seen Dikembe as a scarf-wearing dad on the sidelines for every Georgetown game, rooting for his son Ryan and his teammates.

Dikembe Mutombo undergoing treatment for brain tumor | DENVERPOST

The family did not release any other details, including what prompted the tumor being discovered. “We know he will approach this challenge with the same determination and grit that have made him a legend on and off the court,” Atlanta Hawks principal owner Tony Ressler said.

The 56-year-old Mutombo spent 18 seasons in the NBA, playing for Denver, Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia, New York and the then-New Jersey Nets. The 7-foot-2 center out of Georgetown was an eight-time All-Star, four-time defensive player of the year, three-time All-NBA selection and went into the Hall of Fame in 2015 after averaging 9.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game for his career. Mutombo last played during the 2008-09 season and has worked extensively for charitable and humanitarian causes since. Blinken lauded him when the pair were together in the Congo, telling Mutombo “you’ve done so much to bring the world together.”

NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo is undergoing treatment for a brain tumor | CNN | CNN

NBA commissioner Adam Silver added: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Dikembe, one of the world’s great humanitarians.” Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the 7-foot 2-inch Mutombo came to Washington’s Georgetown University initially on an academic scholarship in 1987 – and rose to fame when he joined the basketball team in his second year.

Selected fourth in the 1991 NBA draft by the Denver Nuggets, Mutombo went on to become a four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and an eight-time All-Star. He played 18 seasons for Denver, the Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks and Houston Rockets. He retired second on the league’s career blocked shots list and was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015. Off the court he is known for his humanitarian work. In 1997, two years before retiring from the NBA, Mutombo established the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation with a mission to improve education and quality of life in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Dikembe Mutombo undergoing treatment for brain tumor | SPECTRUMNEWS1

Mutombo speaks nine languages and founded the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation in 1997, concentrating on improving health, education and quality of life for the people in the Congo. His foundation led the building of a 170-bed hospital in Kinshasa, the capital city, and that facility has treated nearly a half-million people regardless of their ability to pay for care. He also has served on the boards of many organizations, including Special Olympics International, the CDC Foundation and the National Board for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

Fans of the Hoyas, Hawks, Nuggets, and Sixers, as well as basketball generally, have been wishing their best for Dikembe and his family for the past few days. With all the good he has done across the globe from, via his platform, he is clearly not deserving of such condition. Hearing that Mutombo is in good spirits and has great medical care is the best we can hope for at this point. He will beat this and we look forward to posting better news.

This truly is a time for Hoyas fans to come together to support the Mutombos with optimism and hope. Dikembe is Georgetown through and through. Sending Deke, Ryan, and the Mutombo family our prayers, thoughts, and positive energy is paramount at this point.

Get well soon, Dikembe! HOYA SAXA!