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Sonny meets Dikembe - 2002-03-15

The Congolese giant, 7'2" Dikembe Mutombo of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team, visited the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington March 14 to brief officials about his $44 million hospital project in his birthplace, Kinshasa.

Dikembe has some ties with USAID. He came to the United States from the former Zaire on a USAID scholarship to attend Georgetown University, from which he graduated with dual degrees in Diplomacy and Linguistics.

During his visit to USAID, Dikembe took some time to record some public service announcements for the VOA and the Sonny Side of Sports. A photo of Sonny and Dikembe was taken at the end of the meeting at USAID.

Here are some basketball highlights and personal information about Dikembe:

On February 10, 2002, Dikembe made his eighth career NBA All-Star Game appearance on his home court in Philadelphia.

Dikembe has been named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year four times.

Dikembe was the winner of the NBA's 2001 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.

Dikembe's full name is Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean Jacque Wamutombo. It's a big name for a big man.

Dikembe and his wife, Rose, have one daughter, Carrie Biamba Wamutumbo, and a son, Jean Jacques Dikembe Mutombo Mplombo, Jr. They also serve as the adoptive parents for four other children.

Dikembe speaks English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and five African dialects.

Dikembe wears size 22 basketball shoes. He and Los Angeles Lakers star Shaquille O'Neal are tied for having the biggest feet in the NBA.