Manute Bol's Philanthropy As Great An Achievement As Prolific NBA Career

Though several news outlets had reported on Manute Bol's acute kidney disease in the past months, it still came as a shock to much of the world when the 7 foot 6 former NBA player died in Virginia at the age of 47.

Bol's height gave him a domineering presence on the court as well as premier shot-blocking ability (for comparison, Houston Rockets center Yao Ming is also listed at 7 foot 6).

However, few who didn't keep up with Bol's activities after his NBA career are aware of his consistent efforts to improve conditions for those in his homeland of Sudan. In fact, Bol spent nearly his entire fortune, and went bankrupt, donating money to organizations that were working in Darfur.

As his former teammates discuss in the video below, Bol had never heard of America or the game of basketball until he was 18. Overwhelmed by an amount of wealth unheard of where he came from, Bol dedicated his life to charitable endeavors in Sudan.

With Alliance for the Lost Boys, Bol worked to bring medical assistance and education to Sudan. Just last year, Bol was busy raising money to build a school when he contracted Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a skin disease that would ultimately take his life.

Bol also became politically active, campaigning for Sudanese politicians that he believed would help promote peace.