Dikembe Mutombo is undergoing treatment for a brain tumor

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Basketball Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo is undergoing treatment in Atlanta for a brain tumor, the NBA announced Saturday.

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Mutombo has been one of the NBA’s global ambassadors for years and recently appeared at Hall of Fame events in Springfield, Massachusetts and at two preseason games in Saitama, Japan.

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He also appeared with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken at an event in Congo, Mutombo’s home country, in August.

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“He is receiving the best possible care from a collaborative team of specialists in Atlanta and is in great spirits as he begins treatment,” Mutombo’s family said in a statement released by the NBA. “Dikembe and his family are asking for privacy during this time so they can focus on his care.” They are grateful for your prayers and well wishes.”

The family did not disclose other details, including what led to the tumor being found.

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Mutombo, 56, spent 18 seasons in the NBA, playing for Denver, Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia, New York and the then-New Jersey Nets. The 7-foot-2 center from Georgetown was an eight-time All-Star, four-time Defensive Player of the Year, three-time All-NBA selection and a 2015 Hall of Famer.

Mutombo last played in the 2008-09 season and has since worked hard for charitable and humanitarian causes. Blinken praised him when the pair were together in the Congo, telling Mutombo “you’ve done so much to bring the world together”.

Mutombo speaks nine languages ​​and founded the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation in 1997, concentrating on improving the health, education and quality of life of the people of the Congo. His foundation oversaw the construction of a 170-bed hospital in Kinshasa, the capital, and that facility has treated nearly half a million people, regardless of their ability to pay for care.

He has also served on the boards of many organizations, including Special Olympics International, the CDC Foundation, and the National Board of the US Fund for UNICEF.

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