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Manute Bol using attention for Sudan
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Oct 31, 2008 - 8:42:46 AM

Manute Bol using attention for Sudan
Former NBA player trying to raise money for school
undefined undefinedBy MARK SINGELAIS, Staff writer
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First published: Friday, October 31, 2008


At 7 feet, 7 inches tall, Manute Bol never failed to stand out on an NBA court.

Now Bol is using his stature to draw attention to conditions in his native Sudan.

Bol will speak at Union College's Memorial Chapel on Thursday at 6 p.m., hoping to raise awareness of the African nation that's been torn by civil war. The talk is free.

"People aren't paying attention to what's going on in Sudan,'' he said. "The roads are still bad, the schools, the health care. Nothing's getting done, so I try to speak to people about it.''

Bol, 46, said he realizes the American public is preoccupied with a presidential election, a struggling economy, and a war in Iraq. But he's determined to raise $120,000 to build a school in his home village of Turalei, which is located in southern Sudan.

Bol played 10 seasons in the NBA with Washington, Golden State, Philadelphia and Miami. He still ranks 12th in league history with 2,086 blocked shots.

He was also part of the first NBA game played at Times Union Center (then Knickerbocker Arena), when his Philadelphia 76ers beat the New York Knicks 115-96 in an exhibition on Oct. 17, 1990.

His career ended in 1995, and Bol gave an estimated $3.5 million in earnings to relatives in Sudan.

His life took a tragic twist when he was nearly killed in a car accident on June 30, 2004, in Connecticut. Bol was the passenger in a taxi driven by a legally intoxicated driver that hit a guardrail and smashed into a rock ledge.

The driver was killed. Bol was in a coma for a month and remained hospitalized for six months with a broken neck, broken wrist, shattered kneecap, head wound and internal injuries.

Bol said he no longer needs a cane to walk but still suffers from the accident. undefined undefined undefined undefined undefined undefined undefined undefined undefined undefined

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