Dikembe Mutombo, one of the best-known African athletes who played in the league, opened up about what he told late NBA commissioner David Stern when he was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in 1991.
“I told David Stern I didn’t want to be the last Dikembe Mutombo playing in the NBA, and it brings me joy that it won’t be the case,” the retired Congolese-American center said. “So many African players have the dream, but sadly don’t have anyone to help them start the journey. If we can show them that it’s possible, those kids will achieve their dream.
“In recent years, the NBA has become very engaged in the continent of Africa, whether it’s by building more basketball courts or teaching the game to the future stars. There are close to 20 or 30 African players in college and the league. The number is still growing, but you will see more.”