Advertisement

NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo undergoing treatment for brain tumor

Dikembe Mutombo attends the 30th annual ESPY Awards at the Dolby Theatre in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles in July. The NBA said Saturday that Mutombo was currently undergoing treatment for a brain tumor. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Dikembe Mutombo attends the 30th annual ESPY Awards at the Dolby Theatre in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles in July. The NBA said Saturday that Mutombo was currently undergoing treatment for a brain tumor. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Basketball Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo is undergoing treatment for a brain tumor, the NBA said in a statement on Saturday.

"He is receiving the best care possible from a collaborative team of specialists in Atlanta and is in great spirits as he begins treatment," the statement said.

Advertisement

"Dikembe and his family ask for privacy during this time so they can focus on his care. They are grateful for your prayers and good wishes."

Mutombo, 56, played in the league for 18 years before retiring in 2009. During his career, he was an eight-time All-Star, three-time All-NBA performer, six-time All-Defense selection and four-time Defensive Player of the Year.

His career is notable because he did not start playing basketball until he was 17 and went on to play college ball at Georgetown. Throughout his career, he was consistently known as one of the game's premier shot-blockers.

Since the end of his playing career, he has embarked on several humanitarian missions in his native Democratic Republic of Congo. He built a hospital, helped people with cataract surgery and knee replacement surgery and arranged for thousands of free cervical and breast cancer screenings for women, according to USA Today.

Advertisement

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Dikembe, one of the world's great humanitarians," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said.

Latest Headlines