Hall of Fame center Dikembe Mutombo will receive the second annual Sager Strong Award this season according to a press release from Turner Sports:
Turner and the NBA today announced that Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo will be the recipient of this year’s Sager Strong Award at the NBA Awards on TNT, presented by Kia, to be held Monday, June 25, with coverage beginning at 9 p.m. ET. The Sager Strong Award, named for iconic Turner Sports sideline reporter Craig Sager, is presented annually to an individual who has been a trailblazer while exemplifying courage, faith, compassion and grace.
As stated in the press release, Dikembe Mutombo will receive the honorary award during the NBA Awards show in late June for his acts of honor and compassion. Mutombo will be the second winner of the award after former New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams earned the honor last season.
Williams won the award last season for overcoming an unfortunate family tragedy while still holding down a role as an assistant coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Mutombo will be honored this year for the incredible humanitarian work he has done for his native nation of Congo.
Though Mutombo is best-known for his unparalleled rim protection abilities on the court, the 51-year-old’s work off it has been even more admirable. Along with his existing Dikembe Mutombo Foundation which aims to improve the quality of life in the Congo overall, Mutombo continues to accomplish great things for his nation.
Over the past year-plus, Mutombo has given back to his community and developed a number of advancements in the country’s health and education policies. He even established his own hospital practice over a decade ago in 2007, the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital. Since it’s inception, the hospital has worked to aid over a quarter of a million patients.