Manute Bol spent about all of his time as a Washington Bullet before I became a fan of the franchise upon moving to the District in 1990. I barely remember his six minutes and two games during a second stint with the team in the 1993-94 season.
Still, his lore as an NBA player, who was really much, much more as a person, lives on with me and many others. So while I unfortunately can’t recount any personal memories of Bol, who passed away at age 47 yesterday in Charlottesville, Virginia, I suggest you remember his legacy by reading the links and watching the videos below.
From the Washington Post’s must-read obituary by Matt Schudel:
When the Bullets drafted him in the second round in 1985, he was measured at 7 feet 6¾ inches in his bare feet — usually rounded up to 7-7 — and he weighed a mere 190 pounds. Mr. Bol had limited basketball skills, but with a fingertip-to-fingertip wingspan of 8 feet 6 inches, he proved to be unusually adept at one aspect of the game: blocking opponents’ shots. Standing flat-footed, he could extend his hand above the rim of the basket 10 feet off the floor.
The Bullets put Mr. Bol on a regimen of weightlifting and pizza, adding 17 pounds to his frame before he made his NBA debut in October 1985. In his rookie season, despite playing about 25 minutes a game, he led the league with 397 blocked shots, still the second-highest total in NBA annals.
- Manute Bol dies at 47 [DC Sports Bog]
- Manute Bol and “my bad” [DC Sports Bog]
- Manute Bol’s Legacy Lives On in Africa [NBA FanHouse]
- Standing Taller: Remembering Manute Bol [Slam Online]
Charles Barkley pranks Manute.
Manute Bol 3-Pointer/Block highlights.
Manute Bol mix.
NBA.com Manute Bol feature.
2002 George Michael feature on Bol from NBC Washington.