Retired NBA star Dikembe Mutombo flew an 8-year-old boy from Congo to the United States so doctors could remove a large tumor from his face.
Mutombo, who had reportedly paid for the young boy’s flight from Congo and arranged for the doctors at the Osborne Head & Neck Institute to operate on him for free, told TMZ that he met Matadi earlier this year at a hospital he built in Congo.
“I was touched with what he was going through as a young boy, who’s 8 years old not going to school,” Mutumbo told TMZ.
“Where he’s been pushed away by society. His mom has to keep him in the bedroom every day, ’cause people are talking bad about him.”
The boy will live with his father at a charity residence free of charge during his recovery.
After the operation, Matadi will return to Congo where Mutombo is hopeful he will be able to return to his schooling and live a normal life.
Mutombo noted, "[It's] very difficult as a father to see a child who is eight years old who is born like all of us but has not gotten opportunities."
Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo (born June 25, 1966) is a Congolese American retired professional basketball player who played 18 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Outside basketball, he has become well known for his humanitarian work.