What Made Manute Bol Distinguish From Other Nba Players – Three years ago, Madout Bol was on break from his Amazon warehouse job – a job he didn’t like – his old college: “Madout’s brother Bol Bol was playing in an elite showcase in New York. Did Madout want to go there?
Madout had to finish his shift and technically has no more time to fly. But he didn’t think about that. He told his boss he was leaving early, then drove 60 miles from Trenton to Brooklyn Bridge Park, where the store was located. Madout hadn’t seen the ball in four months, and then only for a minute or two as the ball played in another display case in New York. Their conversation after that match was awkward, distant, like two people who don’t know each other, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
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This time Madut Bol didn’t care that he was there. “My father never saw me play,” says Madout. “So I said: ‘I don’t want the ball to be at this level and that nobody came to play for him. “”
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When Madut arrived at the game, the place was so full and the line so long that no one else was allowed in. He didn’t come for nothing, so he found a VIP entrance and explained his situation: he didn’t know that his younger brother was playing under the 2016 Armor Elite 24, a platform for the best high school players in the country. The staff asked for Madut’s ID card. They don’t know who he is.
Then someone looked at him and said, “Okay.” Even to outsiders, it was clear that the 6-foot-9 Madout and the 7-foot-2 Ballon were related.
The courthouse runs along the East River with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop. The Brooklyn Bridge has collapsed, and as the sun sets, the sky is pale purple, then black. Madut exploded. In the spotlight, he saw the five-star ball score 10 points and five shots on the same court as Zion Williamson. But what’s even more surreal is that the ball reminded Madut of his father, Manut Ball, the greatest man to ever play in the NBA and one of the league’s most humanitarian figures. Admirers called him “Muhammad Ali or Nelson Mandela” for his work in South Sudan.
“You can look at (Bolga) and tell,” Madout says. “His walk. People tell me the same thing: ‘You walk like your father.’ I don’t see him because I don’t watch him walk, but when I see him walking, he walks like dad, he laughs like dad, he looks like him.
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On a muggy July morning, Madout went to the first of four Men’s League games, where he said that day, “I have to start forcing myself to go out and meet new people.” The night before, he had stayed up until 4 a.m. playing video games in his apartment in Pasadena, California. He’s still unable to go to the many bars and restaurants that are within walking distance of his apartment, and even though he’s lived in Los Angeles County for a few months, he’s only been to the beach once.
Madut is always more comfortable in silence than in conversation; his high school coach says he will be a great CIA agent. So it’s a bit of a shock when Madout agreed to talk about this story—a story that would inevitably remove him from his privileged position in the background. But he has the will to do it.
For years, he wanted to have a relationship with Ball, a second-round pick who plays for the Denver Nuggets this year. He says he wants to be there for him, support him, guide him and support him – everything an older brother should do. But since his father died in 2010, they have rarely spent time together or even spoken. (The Nuggets declined to use the ball for this story.)
Why is it complicated and the age difference is over a decade. In the mid-1990s, when Madut was 5 or 6 years old, his father packed his bags and told him, “I’ll be back.” There was nothing unusual about that moment; Manut travels all the time. But then Madut waited and waited for him to come home. The days turned into weeks. Madut asked his mother where his father was, but she didn’t care either. Weeks turn into months. Madut did not receive any phone calls, letters or letters. For a moment, her father was her hero, a larger-than-life figure who dominated every room and revealed Madut’s hidden personality. The next day he left without explanation.
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Madut and his siblings learned about their father’s new life in Sudan from a 2001 Sports Illustrated article in which Manute spoke to a reporter while his second wife, Ajok, cradled their 19-month-old son, Bol. Large, blended families are rare among South Sudan’s Dinka tribes – Manute’s grandfather, Bol Chol, a tribal leader, had 50 wives and more than 80 children – but over the years, Manute had largely disappeared from Madut’s life.
When Manute returned to the United States in 2002, he took Ajok and Bol with him. The money is gone. They lived in a sparse apartment in Connecticut, the rent paid by Catholic Charities. Madout lived with his mother in New Jersey, and, at the insistence of his stepfather, did not seriously play organized basketball until his junior year of high school. Ball, meanwhile, was a star and viral sensation on the AAU circuit before his first day of high school. Ever since he was little, he said he wanted to be like his father.
“I think Bol and Madut have two different versions of my father,” says Abuk, Madut and Bol’s older sister. A few years ago, Val Reiss, Ball’s AAU coach, shared a similar sentiment with the Philadelphia Daily News: “Ball was a second chance for Manoute to be a better father than he was with his older sons, and he was. He really was. “.
Unsurprisingly, tensions between Madut’s family and Bol’s family are high. Madut admits that Bol never had a good relationship with his mother. When Abuk lived with his father and Bol, she helped him clean and cooked for him. But she didn’t invite Ball to her wedding, not because she didn’t want him to come, but because she was too young to go alone and her mother didn’t want her there. “We were very close,” she said, sadness in her voice. “I think he felt like we were abandoning him.”
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Over the years, Manute played the role of peacemaker as best he could, but when he died, the thread that united them all broke, and Madut and Bol were separated.
Earlier this year, by pure chance, Madout ran into the ball at a party in Los Angeles. Madout worked there as security outside the party; Ball was there with his famous friends. Madout hasn’t seen the ball in more than two years, since an exhibition game at Brooklyn Bridge Park. He didn’t want this moment to go away.
Madout couldn’t leave his post and he didn’t want to yell at the crowd, so he raised his hand to catch the ball. Bol looked in his general direction, maybe even saw, but it was dark and Madut was far away.
Later that night, Madut saw Bol again after he left the group. Madut held out his hand and said, “Hey man, he’s your brother.” Ball waved his hand, but he didn’t stop, say anything or look back. Madut doesn’t know if Ball heard him or even recognized him.
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Madout pulls into the high school parking lot and enters the dark gymnasium. Sunday afternoon. During the week, Madut works security from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and even if he doesn’t want to do anything else for the rest of his life, what he likes most is his job and Los Angeles in general. , every weekend, he can play basketball almost endlessly.
He loves basketball and everything it does for him. In high school, he was skinny as a freshman and couldn’t do a single push-up. He was also one of the tallest and darkest kids in the school, and he had nowhere to hide under his last name. The bullying got so bad that he stopped going to class during his first year.
Worried about his future, his mother and stepfather took him to St. Anthony transferred to a small private school in Jersey City, where everything changed. He has freshman classes, improves his grades and has friends in class.