Sports Speaker Dikembe Mutombo was a force to be reckoned with as a 7’2” center who spent 18 seasons in the NBA. His shot blocking ability is second only to Hakeem Olajuwon in the record books, and his signature finger wag with live in NBA infamy forever. Dikembe is an incredible ambassador for the NBA on and off the court. His humanitarian work in his native Democratic Republic of Congo and longtime support of the Special Olympics has made him an agent for global social change. In 2015, Dikembe appeared as a featured keynote speaker at the Doha Goals Forum. Dikembe was a panelist during the Sports and Globalization session talking about the role of sports in creating more inclusive societies around the world.
Sports Speaker Dikembe Mutombo arrived in the United States in 1987 to attend Georgetown University on an academic scholarship. He graduated with a degree in linguistics and diplomacy and can speak 9 different languages. During his sophomore year at Georgetown, Dikembe was invited by men’s basketball coach John Thompson to try out for the team. After joining the team, Dikembe went on to earn All-American and First Team All-Big East honors in 1991 and was named the Big East Defensive Player of the year in 1990 and 1991. He was selected by the Denver Nuggets as the 4th overall pick in the 1991 NBA Draft. Dikembe went on to play 18 seasons in the NBA, in which he would be awarded the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year 4 times and make 8NBA All-Star teams.
In 1997, Sports Speaker Dikembe Mutombo started the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation aiming to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Congo. He was twice awarded the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, which is given to the member of an NBA organization who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community. In 2007, the Biamba Marie Mutombo hospital opened in Congo. Dikembe donated more than $15 million to the hospital dedicated to the memory of his mother. Today, Dikembe works as an NBA Global Ambassador in efforts to promote the game of basketball all over the world. He also serves on the boards of Opportunity International, The Special Olympics, National Constitution Center and the International and National Board for UNICEF.