NBA Legend Dikembe Mutombo was born in the capital city of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mr. Mutombo is the seventh of ten children born to Samuel and the late Biamba Marie Mutombo. He arrived in the United States in 1987 on an academic scholarship to attend Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. In his second year at Georgetown, Coach John Thompson invited the 7'2" Mr. Mutombo to try out for the university's renowned basketball team.
After joining the team, Mr. Mutombo re-directed his pre-med ambitions and graduated from Georgetown with dual degrees in Linguistics and Diplomacy. He is fluent in nine languages, including five African languages. He played professional basketball for 18 years before retiring from the Houston Rockets in 2009.
Giving back has been at the forefront of Mr. Mutombo’s efforts since he entered the NBA in 1991. In 1997, Mr. Mutombo created the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, where he now serves as the Chairman and President. Located in Atlanta, Georgia the Foundation’s mission is to improve the health, education and quality of life for the people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In December 2007, the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital opened in the DR Congo. Named in memory of Mr. Mutombo’s beloved mother, the hospital has treated over 100,000 men, women and children.
Mr. Mutombo serves on the boards of the National Constitution Center, Opportunity International, the International Board for Special Olympics and on the National Board for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. In 2009, NBA Commissioner David Stern appointed Mr. Mutombo to the newly created position of Global Ambassador.
Mr. Mutombo was the first appointed Youth Emissary for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and he previously served as a spokesman for CARE and on the Advisory Board for the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health. He has also served as an Advisor and Consultant to Freeport McMoRan and as an advisor to Hewlett-Packard.
Mutombo has been named ABC’s Person of the Week, Essence Magazine’s 2001 Achiever, and Sporting News’ No. 1 Good Guy. Mutombo has been featured in many publications including Europe’s TIME magazine, Sports Illustrated for Kids, The New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Houston Chronicle, just to name a few.