June 19, 2010

Manute Bol, RIP

 A charter member of the Human Biodiversity Hall of Fame has died.


Camlost said...

His greatest accomplishment was probably beating William "the Refrigerator" Perry on "Celebrity Boxing" a few years ago. He had a monstrous reach advantage, punching Perry from halfway across the room.

Another interested fact is that Manute's wife won $1M+ in the Maryland lottery a few years after he retired from the NBA.

dearieme said...

I suppose those guys are a bit too frail to play rugby - but they'd be handy in the lineout.

Anonymous said...

Tall body, short life.

Anonymous said...

RIP big guy.

Anonymous said...

HBDers take note; this is the final sentence from the New York Times obituary:

Bol is survived by 10 children, including four with his second wife, Ajok, of Olathe, Kan., his nephew Mayom Majok said.

So either get busy making children, or else get busy going extinct.

Anonymous said...

BTW, that Stevens-Johnson syndrome, also known as Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis [TENS, or TEN], is just a terrrible, terrible disease [in a bad case of SJS/TEN, all of the skin on your body can slough off, and will need to be re-grown].

And it's even worse in the modern hospitals, which are riddled with bugs like Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus [VRSA] and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci [VRE's].

I wouldn't be at all surprised if Bol actually died from a secondary infection, like VRSA, or a VRE, in the UVA Burn Unit.

[SJS/TENS is usually seen as an allergic reaction to some drug which had been administered to the patient, with compounds in the generic "Sulfa" family being the worst culprits. Again, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the doctors in Somalia had used Sulfa as an inexpensive substitute for modern antibiotics, with Bol suffering the allergic reaction as a result.]

Anonymous said...

I read that he suffered from kidney disease. Was this in any way related to his size?

DCThrowback said...

Of note, Manute Bol apparently was the originator of the phrase "My bad". RIP.


Anonymous said...

I read that he suffered from kidney disease.

As above, I'm guessing that the Sudanese doctors treated a kidney infection with Sulfa [as an inexpensive alternative to modern antibiotics], and that the allergic reaction began to manifest itself when Bol was in Charlottesville.

Also, the lengthy stay in Charlottesville suggests to me complications from VRSA or a VRE:

NY Times: The cause was severe kidney trouble and complications of a rare skin disorder known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, said Tom Prichard, who runs Sudan Sunrise, a foundation that is building a school near Bol’s birthplace in Turalei. Bol had been hospitalized since late May when he fell ill during a layover on a trip home from Sudan, Mr. Prichard said.

Philly Inq: Bol was admitted to the hospital last month while stopping over in a Dulles, Va., hotel after spending several months in Sudan to help build a school with his Sudan Sunrise group. Bol stayed in the Sudan longer than anticipated after being asked to stay through the Sudanese elections.

His health deteriorated during his time there. Bol underwent three dialysis treatments and developed Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a condition that causes its victims to lose patches of skin. Prichard told the Associated Press that it's believed Bol contracted the skin disease as a reaction to kidney medication he took in Africa.

Anonymous said...

Who is that wee bird standing next to him?

Bret said...

Who's the woman in the picture? It looks like Chrissie Hynde, but she wouldn't be caught dead without her blue Telecaster.

Steve Sailer said...

I found the picture in the late 1990s. I think the woman is a German musician of some sort. I'd never heard of her.

Bret said...

Maybe Nena? 99 Luftballoons?

Nena were the German Blondie, except Nena wasn't blonde. OTOH neither is Blondie (that is, Debbie) any more.

RandyB said...

A friend's son still has his Manute Bol Growth Chart from a 1987 giveaway.

Anonymous said...

One other thing about Bol's stay in the Burn Unit - if you're much above about 6'2", then it can be exceedingly difficult to find a hospital bed which will accomodate you.

[My Dad was 6'5" and was shoved into a pediatrics bed in the geriatric ward - I kid you not.]

Unless UVA still had an extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-long bed lying around, from the Ralph Sampson era, then I don't know how they would have accomodated Bol.

So the poor guy was probably lying in bed with all of his skin sloughing off from SJS/TENS, dying from some infection like VRSA/VRE, and, to top it all off, probably had to suffer through all the muscle twitches and intense cramping pains from not being able to completely stretch out in his bed.


Not a pleasant way to go.

Anonymous said...

I will never forget when Manute fought Chicago Bulls badass Jawann Oldham- his reach was amazing as you could imagine. Seemed like a good guy as well and i had the growth chart right next to Cal Ripken's except his bent around to the ceiling.

Dan in DC

eh said...

It's definitely not Nena.

I always felt sorry for Bol when he was in the NBA. I thought he looked like a freak out there on the court -- a kind of stick man like some kid would draw -- and had really no basketball talent. Anyway, about that time I stopped paying attention to the NBA, so I never really saw or heard anything more about him. Apparently a decent and well-liked man off the court. If the circumstances of his death are true, he must have suffered at the end. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Sad about Manute Bol. He was just coming up in DC about the time I left. From the press at least, it seemed he always was trying to do something for his less fortunate compatriots. You have to respect a man like that.

On another note, here is Konishiki in action. He was another winner of the HBD lottery.


I had forgotten just how good the champion at that time was (Chiyonofuji, Konishiki's opponent). For those of us who were privileged enough to see him live, he truly was amazing.

Anonymous said...

Manute Bol's Radical Christianity
JUNE 25, 2010

...Bol, a Christian Sudanese immigrant, believed his life was a gift from God to be used in the service of others. As he put it to Sports Illustrated in 2004: "God guided me to America and gave me a good job. But he also gave me a heart so I would look back."

He was not blessed, however, with great athletic gifts. As a center for the Washington Bullets, Bol was more spectacle than superstar. At 7 feet, 7 inches tall and 225 pounds, he was both the tallest and thinnest player in the league. He averaged a mere 2.6 points per game over the course of his career, though he was a successful shot blocker given that he towered over most NBA players.

Bol reportedly gave most of his fortune, estimated at $6 million, to aid Sudanese refugees. As one twitter feed aptly put it: "Most NBA cats go broke on cars, jewelry & groupies. Manute Bol went broke building hospitals"...