Bol Bol’s parents are Manute Bol and Ajok Kuag. Manute Bol himself was a famous NBA player, known for his blocking game, his height, and his activism in his native country of Sudan.
Manute Bol died in 2010 after he contracted an infection during a trip to Sudan that led to kidney failure. He was 47 years old.
Bol Bol’s full name is Bol Manute Bol. Here’s what you need to know about his parents:
1. Bol Bol’s Father, Manute Bol, Was 7’6 & Played in the NBA
Bol Bol’s father, Manute Bol, was famous for three things: his height, his basketball career, and his human rights activism for Sudan.
Manute was drafted as the seventh pick in the second round of the 1985 NBA draft, for the Washington Bullets. Over the course of his ten-year career in the NBA, Manute played for the Bullets, the Golden State Warriors, the 76ers, the Miami Heat, before finally being waived by Golden State in 1995.
Manute played for a few other basketball leagues before rheumatism forced him to retire, per Sports Illustrated.
2. Manute Bol Is Known For His Human Rights Efforts in Sudan, & Died at 47 Years Old
Manute Bol might be considered to be one of the best shot blockers in the history of the NBA, but he’s also known for what he took on during and after his basketball career.
Manute was largely involved in human rights efforts, and donated a large percentage of his salary towards human rights initiatives in Sudan, according to Sports History Weekly. He even appeared before the State Department to share video tapes he took of refugee camps in Sudan while he was visiting at home.
According to Sports History Weekly, Manute was the first NBA player from Africa. His heritage is long and rich with history; per The Washington Post, his father, Madut, was a tribal elder of the Dinka tribe. In that profile, Manute spoke of the ritual scarring ceremonies he had to undergo, and the guilt he felt occasionally about leaving home. Per the profile, he said, “I am really lonely,” again and again.
According to a number of sources, Manute gave so much that he was financially unstable himself in his final years. Tom Prichard, executive director of Sudan Sunrise, a relief organization, said to The Orange-County Register, “Manute spent most the earnings from his basketball career to feed and educate the people of his native country. At one point, Manute was living in a mud hut.”
3. Ajok Kuag, Bol’s Mother, Was Manute’s Second Wife
Bol was married twice in his life, and had ten children. His second wife, Ajok Kuag, is Bol Bol’s mother. To The Kansas City Star, Ajok said her son looks exactly like her husband. She said, “I can’t believe it. He’s just Manute. Same thing. Same body, same everything. Everything is Manute. I know he’s my son, but he has nothing from me. He’s all Manute.”
She added later in the interview,
“I think he’s proud. People tell him all the time he looks like his dad, and he loves his dad so much. He cries about it sometimes. He wishes his dad was around. People tell him about his dad, and I think he loves it because he’s proud of his dad.”
Ajok also shared that she asked her son if he wants to carry on his father’s legacy of helping others. She relayed that he said, “I’ll do the same thing to help people, but I’m not going to do it like my dad did and spend all of his money. I will help, but I will save some for myself.”
4. Bol’s Brother, Madut Bol, Played College Basketball at Southern University
Bol has three younger brothers and a sister, as well as a number of half-siblings from his father’s first marriage. One of his brothers, Madut Bol, is also a successful basketball player, and played at Southern University.
Madut graduated from Southern University in 2013.
5. Bol Was Born in South Sudan, & Wants to Give Back Like His Father Did
Bol was born in South Sudan, according to The Kansas City Star, and moved to the United States with his family when he was two. They lived in Connecticut for a number of years before moving to Olathe, Kansas, because of the large Sudanese population.
To The Undefeated, Bol revealed that he returned to Sudan for the first time when he was 10 years old, for his father’s funeral (his father was buried in Sudan). Of his trip, he said, “It was really cool. I was only 10 when I went back, but I got to see everything my dad was doing. It was cool to see where I was born.”
He added, “When I can go back [to Sudan], I definitely will. Later on, I plan on going back and finishing everything he started. But that is later in the future. It is where I was born, so I have to go back and visit.
Bol has said on a number of occasions that he wants to carry on his father’s legacy of being a kind and charitable person. Of his father, he said to The Kansas City Star, He was always nice to anybody. He liked everybody, and he always liked to help people.” He added, “I’m trying to go to the NBA…To help my family. Like my dad.”