NBA Hall of Famer and one-time Sixers center Dikembe Mutombo, who has been among the most active humanitarians in the sporting world during and after his 18-year career, will received this year’s Sager Strong Award, the league announced Tuesday.
Mutombo is only the second person to receive the award, created in honor of late Turner Sports sideline reporter Craig Sager, who died in 2016 after an extended battle with leukemia that didn’t stop him from working NBA playoff games. Last year, NBA player and coach Monty Williams received the inaugural award.
As part of the honor, which will be given at the 2018 NBA Awards in June, Mutombo will received a replica of the colorful jacket Sager wore when he delivered his emotional “Time is simply how you live your life” speech at the 2016 ESPYS.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) July 14, 2016
Mutombo created the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation in 1997 to help improve the health, education and quality of life for the people of his native Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 2007, the foundation opened the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital, which has treated nearly a quarter-million patients.
Mutombo, an eight-time NBA All-Star and former first-round draft pick, helped lead the Sixers to the 2001 NBA Finals in what was arguably his best NBA season, in which he won his fourth Defensive Player of the Year award. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015, and was the only player to win the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award twice.
The 2018 NBA Awards will air on TNT on June 25 at 9 p.m, and will feature current and former players, coaches, musical performances and celebrity presenters, as well as Inside the NBA hosts Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal.