Kansas City, MO – Manute Bol, at 7'7" one of the tallest men to play for the NBA, died this morning in a Charlottesville, Va. Hospital. He had been ill with a variety of problems and was hospitalized a month ago upon his return from his most recent trip to his home country of Sudan. According to family members, his death was caused from irrepressible internal bleeding - a complication from a rare skin disease called Stevens Johnson Syndrome. The syndrome simulates burning of the skin, and Bol was transferred to a burn unit in Charlottesville the day after his arrival in Washington, D.C. Bol was in a coma and on life support at the time of his death.
The former NBA star broke records as a shot blocker for The Washington Bullets, Philadelphia, and Miami.
He was a member of the Dinka tribe of Southern Sudan. He spent his post- basketball years shuttling back and forth from his home in Lenexa, Kansas to his village and surrounding villages, donating much of his earnings and most of his time trying to better the life of his people.
Bol knew he had serious health problems before he returned from Sudan, according to Tom Prichard of the development group, Sudan Sunrise- a group Bol founded. Prichard traveled many times to Sudan with Bol on various relief and development projects. He says Bol knew he was ill in Sudan during his latest trip, but wanted to stay in his country to oversee local elections.
Manute Bol was 47.