Atlanta Hawks great Dikembe Mutombo spent the days after Thanksgiving in Israel on a trip aimed at bringing expertise from the country’s largest hospital to his native Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Mr. Mutombo, the towering center known for stiff defense in the paint, is exploring a partnership with Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer, which has a history of sending doctors to Africa on disaster and humanitarian relief missions.
The hospital is looking for ways to collaborate with Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital, which Mr. Mutombo set up in his native country in 2007 and named after his mother.
During the Nov. 29 visit to a children’s hospital and a heart center, Mr. Mutombo signed basketballs for Israel and Palestinian patients.
Mr. Mutombo recently held the Caring for Congo gala in Atlanta, with stars and dignitaries turning out to support the hospital’s mission. The incoming U.S. ambassador to the DRC used the occasion to announce scholarships to help doctors study English, as well as a $10,000 grant from the embassy to establish a telemedicine program at the hospital on the outskirts of Kinshasa.