Generally, I would not say a seventh grader is better than you at anything, save maybe Lego Star Wars for the Wii, but this is the exception.
Meet Bol Bol, son of NBA player Manute Bol — he is a 6’5″ seventh grader already catching the eye of recruiters (which is a little disturbing but different topic). The video above shows some shooting range and touch for the kid — apparently more than his dad, who was Manute hit 20 of 91 attempts from in the 1988-89 season when Don Nelson decided to have Bol as the big stretching the floor in Golden State. The younger Bol certainly seems more fluid athletically than his father.
CSNBayArea.com found the video and also found a recruiting Web site that has Bol Bol as the likely kid at the top of the class of 2018. Again, I find it disturbing that somebody is tracking that. But then again, I’m running the video…
You may remember Bol as an almost cartoonish NBA figure, a 7’7” Sudanese shot blocker, a Dinka warrior. It’s partially a story about him in the NBA, how he liked to party and live the NBA life. How he and his game grew on the court (remember his jump shots?).
But more than that, it’s the story of how his life evolved, how he helped finance a rebellion in the Sudan 1980s, a rebellion that evolved into Southern Sudan becoming the world’s newest nation in July of this year. How Bol lost hundreds of family members to starvation, war and devastation in that country, how he helped do his part to change the Sudan and change that situation by helping create a new nation. How he lived to see the election that changed everything, but it in part cost him his life.
It’s great storytelling because it’s not all happy endings and good feelings. Bol had a lot of missteps, a lot of challenges. This is a no holds-bared story, not a romantic comedy.
But in the end, it’s the best thing you are going to read today. And you will get a new appreciation for Bol out of it.
A lot of basketball fans do not know the Manute Bol story, but they should. This is a short documentary feature made about him before he passed away last week from complications of a skin disease he picked up in Africa while trying to help those most in need.
Former NBA player Manute Bol has reportedly passed away due to acute kidney failure and skin disease. He was just 47 years old, but Bol will forever be immortalized in NBA lore.
Manute wasn’t exactly one of the league’s biggest stars, but he was one of its biggest stars. His long, lanky frame drew plenty of attention, and inspired one of the NBA’s most excellent photos. Still, he’ll forever be known in NBA circles as far more than a player; it’s Bol’s humanitarian efforts in Sudan that made him a giant, not his 7’6” listing or his impressive blocked shot averages.
Bol was a class act, and while it’s sad to lose a member of the extended NBA family, it’s far worse for the world to be without Manutel’s selflessness and commitment to improving the lives of the Sudanese people.