ATLANTA (AP) The Atlanta Hawks retired Dikembe Mutombo’s No. 55 jersey Tuesday night to honor the longtime shot blocker’s Hall of Fame enshrinement.
Mutombo signed as a free agent in 1996 to make Atlanta the second stop on an 18-year career he spent with five other teams.
“I don’t think I ever thought my jersey would be retired,” Mutombo told reporters after his jersey was hung from the arena rafters in a halftime ceremony. “My name will stay forever.”
The 7-foot-2 Mutombo was a four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, an eight-time All-Star, and he ranks second on the league’s career blocked shots list and 20th in rebounds.
Through his foundation, Mutombo, 49, built a hospital that has served 140,000 in his native Congo. He twice won the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award and now works for the league as a global ambassador.
Mutombo was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame two months ago.