Former basketball star Manute Bol, who spent 10 years in the NBA during the eighties and nineties, died earlier today. He was 47.

A committed humanitarian in his native Sudan, and one of the tallest players to appear in the NBA, Bol died at the University of Virginia hospital in Charlottesville. The 7 ft 7 in former Philadelphia 76ers star had been receiving treatment for severe kidney trouble and a painful skin condition, according to the

Associated Press

.

Sudan Sunrise, a humanitarian organization that Bol worked closely with, paid tribute to his tireless work in a statement on its Web site. "Sudan and the world have lost a hero and an example for all us," the organization said.

Bol, a center, played for the Washington Bullets, the Golden State Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Miami Heat during his professional basketball career.

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-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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