Dikembe Mutombo in town for Liberty Medal ceremony

It's pretty hard not to recognize former Sixers center Dikembe Mutombo. But Dana Spain , president of Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society, says that she couldn't figure out why the 7-foot-2 passenger she spoke French with Sunday on a flight from Paris looked so familiar.

Spain, who also works in branding and marketing, said that she and Mutombo talked real estate, including how he hasn't been able to sell his home in Villanova, and only when they traded business cards at PHL baggage claim did Spain get "clued into the fact that I'm a total f---ing idiot," she told us yesterday.


Mutombo, who is on the National Constitution Center's board of trustees, came to town to attend yesterday's Liberty Medal gala with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former President Bill Clinton. Sunday, Mutombo joined Spain and Temple prof Stephen Nepa for dinner at Raw (1225 Sansom), where Mutombo ate sushi with a fork.

The giant baller, known for his charitable efforts worldwide, but especially in his native Congo, took Spain up on an offer to work out yesterday morning in the gym inside her Bella Vista mansion, which he followed up with breakfast at Fitzwater Cafe (728 S. 7th).

Click here to read more from our column in Tuesday's Daily News.