Retired NBA player Dikembe Mutombo is one of the most legendary figures in recent NBA history, playing 18 seasons with six different teams, including Denver, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York and Houston. But the 44-year-old Congolese-American would be the first to tell you his dream career first began at Georgetown University with the aid of former Hoyas head basketball coach John Thompson Jr.
Now Mutombo wants his two sons to polish their basketball skills at Georgetown, too, so he signed them up at John Thompson III basketball camp last week. But they didn’t go alone; Mutombo decided to join the camp himself, as a volunteer counselor.
“I told them it was time for me to introduce them to the best institution and where they are going to go to college,” Mutombo said during a camp media conference. “I told I was bringing my boys and that I wanted to help and be one of the counselors. I wanted to be able to mentor some of the kids.”
Mutombo has long carried a passion for mentoring youths. He was recently honored with USA Weekend Magazine’s “Most Caring Athlete Award” and FoxSports.com once named him “the most generous athlete in the world.” But on the court, he was one of the stingiest, ball-hawking defenders in NBA history, winning Defensive Player of the Year award a record setting four times.
Mutombo was excited to show his skills to the campers, but he couldn’t stay the entire camp. He told Georgetown Sports Information Director Mex Carey that he is committed to attending the Special Olympics in Greece. He told reporters that he was coming back next summer, too.
“I would love to participate again next year and hopefully there won’t be any schedule conflicts (with the London Olympics in 2012.),” Mutombo said.
He added: “This institution helped me become who I am today, basketball-wise, education-wise. This place helped me become the man I am today and I am so proud to be part of this institution and part of this family. I am really glad I took the time to be here.”