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Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo undergoing treatment for brain tumor

Houston Sports Awards

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 08: Dikembe Mutombo arrives at the Houston Sports Awards on February 8, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Houston Sports Awards)

Rick Kern

Hopefully Dikembe Mutombo can swat away this tumor and finger wag it, too.

A beloved Hall of Famer and maybe the greatest shot blocker the game has ever seen, Mutombo is now undergoing treatment for a brain tumor, his family announced through the NBA. Here is the statement:

“NBA Global Ambassador and Basketball Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo is currently undergoing treatment for a brain tumor. He is receiving the best care possible from a collaborative team of specialists in Atlanta and is in great spirits as he begins treatment. 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 is a four-time NBA defensive player of the year, three-time All-NBA, eight-time All-Star and an Atlanta Hawks legend who had his number retired by the team.

However, his more important work has been running his charitable organization in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he was born. He has helped build hospitals and schools to bring health care and education to a nation rich in natural resources but has found those exploited over the years, leaving many of the nation’s people in poverty. Mutombo also has been a popular global ambassador for the game.

Our thoughts are with him and his family through these trying times.