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YouTube Gold: Dikembe Mutombo, Shotblocking Machine

For a guy who came to the US to go to medical school, Mutombo did well in an improvised career.

Atlanta Hawks v Golden State Warriors
 OAKLAND, CA - 1997: Felton Spencer #50 of the Golden State Warriors shoots circa 1997 at the Arena in Oaklan in Oakland, California.
Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Maybe it was Dick Vitale who told the story, it’s hard to remember, but Vitale seems right: he saw Georgetown’s John Thompson and said something about his upcoming team and Thompson just smiled and said “Mutombo.”

No one knew who Mutombo was. No one had any idea at all, except for Thompson and his staff.

Mutombo got to Georgetown on a USAID scholarship and planned to become perhaps the world’s tallest physician. Thompson saw him though and convinced him to give Hoyas basketball a try and the rest, as they say, is history.

He had a very long NBA career - 18 years - and became a legendary shotblocker. You knew you were in the NBA if Mutombo blocked your shot and wagged his finger at you.

This collection of blocks gives you an idea of what an amazing rim protector Mutombo was. He retired in 2009, trailing only Hakeem Olajuwon as a shotblocker. Mutombo was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015.

By the way, Grant Hill gets his turn on, we think, block #5.