And-Ones: Mutombo, Robinson, Gabriel, Bates

Hall of Fame center Dikembe Mutombo is undergoing treatment for a brain tumor, the NBA announced today (via Twitter).

“He is receiving the best care possible from a collaborative team of specialists in Atlanta and is in great spirits as he begins treatment,” the league wrote in a statement. “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 was an eight-time All-Star and four-time winner of the Defensive Player of the Year Award. He played for six teams during a career that stretched from 1991 to 2009 and saw him play until age 42.

In addition to his basketball accomplishments, Mutombo is also well known for his humanitarian efforts. He won the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 2001 and 2009 and has worked closely with Special Olympics and Basketball Without Borders. His foundation was responsible for building a new hospital that opened in 2007 near his Congolese hometown.

Here are more odds and ends from around the world of basketball:

  • Nate Robinson announced that he’s battling renal kidney failure, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. A three-time winner of the Slam Dunk Contest, the 38-year-old Robinson spent 11 years in the NBA before retiring after the 2015/16 season. “I am currently undergoing treatment for Renal Kidney Failure and have been privately dealing with it for the last four years,” Robinson’s statement read. “I’m sharing this now because I want to be the voice for all those who are having trouble speaking about this illness, and come together for a greater cause – our health. I was never a vocal leader on the court, I preferred to lead by example, but now it’s time for me to speak up and help all those affected by or dealing with Kidney Disease. I am grateful for the care and support I’ve received and continue to receive during this process, and hope through this announcement that I can help others like me.”
  • A trip to South Sudan for a basketball camp this summer has inspired Lakers forward Wenyen Gabriel to do more to help his homeland, writes Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. Gabriel was overwhelmed by the response from the people he encountered. “I mean a lot of people hold me up high now, trying to be like, ‘This is our child and he made it to the NBA,’” he said. “And I know a lot of people think they can be the next one to make it, too.”
  • Felony charges against Emoni Bates involving a gun-related incident are expected to be dismissed, according to Jeff Borzello and Pete Thamel of ESPN. Bates, who was once considered an elite draft prospect, is now at Eastern Michigan University.
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