Manute Bol was one of the tallest NBA players to ever play professional basketball at 7ft, 7inches tall. The Guinness Book of World Records officially measured Bol at 7ft, 6 3/4inches. He is thought to have been born on October 16th, 1962 in either Turalei or Gogrial, Sudan, now known as South Sudan. He was the son of a Dinka tribal chief who gave him his name 'Manute', which means 'special blessing'.
Bol played for two college teams and four NBA teams. Not surprisingly Bol was renowned for his block shots, and his skills were considered some of the best in the games history. In other areas however, he was considered weak and at the end of his career he had more blocked shots than points scored.
Bol was a tireless humanitarian, working long hours in an effort to bring peace and other benefits to his homeland. Bol spent much of the money he earned in his ten year NBA career supporting various causes. In 2004 Bol was seriously injured in an car accident breaking his neck. At the time he was in a taxi of a man who had a suspended license and who was under the influence. Due to donating most of his money to Sudan, Bol was in financial ruin at this point as he had no life or health insurance.
On June19th, 2010 Bol passed away from acute kidney failure and complications from Steven-Johnson's syndrome. After his death, tribute poured in from the United States, and from around the world. People issues statements in recognition of his impact on the sport he played, and on his native Sudan. Just a few days after his death, a salute was held on the floor of the United States Senate.
Manute with a teammate from The Bullets in 1985
As previously stated, Bol was one of the tallest NBA players standing at 7ft 7inches. So you can understand the US immigration controls confusion when he arrived from Sudan and presented a passport that listed him as 5ft, 2inches - More than 2ft difference to his actual height! Explaining the situation, Bol simply said, ''They measured me while I was sitting down.''.