Manute Bol

Photographs, basketballs, and flowers were in front of the alter at Antioch Church. Photo by Laura Ziegler

Kansas City, Missouri – Some 200 people came to Antioch Church last night - many who'd never met Manute Bol- to celebrate his life.

Since coming to live in Olathe a few years ago, Bol had kept a low profile. Since his NBA career, he'd spent most of his time, and resources, traveling back and forth from his native Sudan.

Last night, his wife and many of his family were still in Sudan, where Bol was buried next to his grandfather one week ago.

In this Jan. 26, 1993 photo, New York Knicks' Patrick Ewing, right, is blocked by Philadelphia 76ers' Manute Bol during an NBA game at New York's Madison Square Garden.AP Photo/Jim Sulley

Kansas City, Missouri – Former NBA center Manute Bol will be buried in his village in Southern Sudan, family members said last night.

Bol, who died Saturday at the University of Virgina Charlottesville Medical Center, told his cousin Simon Deng that when he died, he wanted to be buried next to his father in their village of Turlai. Simon Deng is now helping Bol's family in Olathe make funeral arrangements. He explained that in Sudan, it's customary for people to be buried with their relatives.

Manute Bol with fellow Dinka tribesmen in Southern Sudan. Photo Credit Tom Prichard

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.

Manute Bol being welcomed by villagers in his home town of Turalei,Southern Sudan. Photo by Tom Prichard- Sudan Sunrise.

Kansas City, Mo. – Manute Bol was recognized on the basketball court for his legendary skill as a center. Off the court, he's become known for his work helping to restore peace and prosperity in his native Sudan, as well as for his remarkable 7'7" height.

Bol was on his way home to Olathe from Southern Sudan when he fell ill.

He underwent emergency dialysis for kidney failure. He got immediate medication for a rare skin disease known as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. It came on as an allergic reaction to pain medication.