Legendary NBA star and Hall-of-Famer Dikembe Mutombo has started to undergo treatment for a tumor that doctors found in his brain recently.
The National Basketball Association issued a statement on his behalf:
“NBA Global Ambassador and Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo is currently undergoing treatment for a brain tumor,” starts the statement.
“Dikembe and his family ask for privacy during this time so they can focus on his care,” the league went on to say. “They are grateful for your prayers and good wishes.”
Mutombo, in his years after basketball, has been known as the fun-loving “Not in My House” commercial guy.
Standing 7ft 2in (2.18m) tall, Mutombo was discovered when he was studying at Georgetown University. He became the first-round pick of the Nuggets in the 1991 NBA draft, going fourth overall.
Mutombo, 56, played 18 NBA seasons for the Denver Nuggets, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks and Houston Rockets before retiring after the 2008-09 season.
He was the league’s top defensive player four times, earned three All-NBA selections and played in eight All-Star Games over 18 seasons. Mutombo ranks 17th in rebounds (12,359) and finished with 3,289 career blocks, second to Hakeem Olajuwon (3,830). Mutombo followed most blocks with a playful wag of his right index finger, a gesture that became his enduring signature.
Brain Tumor Symptoms
How does someone know if they might have a brain tumor or not? Were there symptoms that Mutombo experienced that prompted him to go see a doctor?
According to the Mayo Clinic, a brain tumor is a mass or growth of abnormal cells in your brain.
The signs and symptoms of a brain tumor vary greatly and depend on the brain tumor’s size, location and rate of growth.
General signs and symptoms caused by brain tumors may include:
- New onset or change in pattern of headaches
- Headaches that gradually become more frequent and more severe
- Unexplained nausea or vomiting
- Vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision
- Gradual loss of sensation or movement in an arm or a leg
- Difficulty with balance