Manute Bol Sends Some Love Back to the Sudan

Despite being one of the greatest shot-blockers in NBA history, one thing basketball great Manute Bol isn’t blocking is money going to the Sudan.

Manute Bol on bass guitar

Yes, we know that’s a stretch of an opening line, but it’s really hard to get snarky and sarcastic when it comes to a 7-foot-7 giant with an even larger heart.

THE KANSAS CITY STAR reports that Bol, who grew up in the Sudan, “has started a grassroots effort to construct an eight-classroom brick facility for first- to fifth-grade students. Monday night was the first meeting to mobilize Kansas City and spread the word on the estimated $120,000 project.”

From THE KC STAR:

Bol recognizes the life he leads now, the one with luxury SUVs and suburban homes, is a far cry from where he came from. While Bol played in the NBA during 1985-94, his people were gripped in a civil war. The fighting has since ended and the refugees have slowly returned home but progress has taken more time.

According to Bol, school children in Turalei sit in neatly-aligned chairs under the shade of trees because there are no indoor facilities. The children learn without textbooks from teachers who may not have passed the fifth grade and have to abandon school when the rain season begins. (Sudan Sunrise director Rev. Tom) Prichard hopes Bol’s school project can begin at the start of the dry season in November and finish in April 2009.

Is Manute giving out of the goodness of his own heart? Or is this all just an attempt to deflect news coverage from Charles Barkley’s recent charitable act? The following video evidence seems to suggest the latter, that this is all just payback for one of the great TV-safe pranks of all time:

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