A retired NBA player works to improve life in his home country.
Professional basketball player Luc Mbah a Moute of Cameroon, left, and retired basketball player Dikembe Mutombo of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), right, participate in an NBA Basketball Without Borders event in Dakar, Senegal.
Although Mutombo has served as the NBA global ambassador since 2009, the position is not his first foray into global philanthropy. The eight-time NBA all-star has been working to improve life for the people of the DRC since starting the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation in 1997.
The foundation's mission is to enhance health and education in the DRC. Its largest project has been the construction of a 300-bed hospital near Mutombo's hometown, Kinshasa. Named after his mother, Biamba Marie Mutombo, who died of a stroke after not receiving adequate hospital care, the hospital cost $29 million. Mutombo provided $15 million.
For his work in Africa, Mutombo earned the President's Service Award in 2000, the NBA's J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 2001 and 2009, and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Goodermote Humanitarian Award in 2011.