Dikembe Mutombo will become the second recipient of the Sager Strong Award at the 2018 NBA Awards, joining San Antonio Spurs vice president of basketball operations Monty Williams to receive the prestigious honor. Mutombo will be given a replica of the colorful suit jacket worn by Sager when he delivered his speech after receiving the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the 2016 ESPYS.
Aside from being an exceptional basketball player who made eight NBA All-Star Game appearances and was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year four times, Mutombo has always taken more pride in his humanitarian work. In 1997, Mutombo founded the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, which is dedicated towards improving the health, education, and quality of life for the people of his native Democratic Republic of the Congo. A little over a decade ago, DMF opened the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital, which has since treated nearly a quarter million patients.
Mutombo was able to bridge the gap between his love for the game of basketball and his humanitarian efforts when he aligned himself with the Basketball Without Borders NBA Program in 2004. The goal of the initiative was to tour Africa as they taught people about the game while working towards improving infrastructure. In 2009, Mutombo was named a global ambassador for the NBA by former league commissioner David Stern. It's hard to think of many players more deserving of the Sager Strong Award than Mt. Mutombo.
The 2018 NBA Awards will take place on June 25, 2018 on TNT.