In July of 1996 the Hawks made a splash by signing the 7'2" Dikembe Mutombo, who was a free agent after five years with the Denver Nuggets. Mutombo had led the NBA in blocked shots the past three seasons and earned the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award in 1995.

Dikembe had an immediate impact in the Hawks frontcourt, leading the league in both blocks and rebounding in his first season in Atlanta while the team posted a 56-26 record and advanced to the Eastern Conference semi-finals. The Hawks fell to the eventual champion Chicago Bulls in the second round despite Mutombo's postseason averages of 15 points and 12 rebounds per game.

In five seasons with the Hawks, Dikembe led the team to the playoffs three times, made three All-Star appearances, and was twice named the league's Defensive Player of the Year. He is one of only three players to record over 1,000 blocks as a Hawk and ranks third in franchise history for rebounds per game.

PHOTOS OF DIKEMBE MUTOMBO AS A HAWK

Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mutombo has won numerous awards for his extensive humanitarian work in his native Africa and elsewhere. In 2009, Dikembe was appointed as the NBA's first Global Ambassador. >> Read More About Mutombo's Humanitarian Efforts

PHOTOS OF MUTOMBO IN THE COMMUNITY

STATS:
Points
Rebounds
Assists
Hawks Totals
4095
4321
408
Per Game
11.9
12.6
1.2
Career Totals
11,729
12,359
1240
Per Game
9.8
10.3
1.0

HONORS AWARDS: 
- 8-time NBA All-Star (1992, '95-'98, 2000-'02)
- 4-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year
- 3-time All-NBA
- 6-time NBA All-Defensive Team
- 1992 NBA All-Rookie Team
- 2nd All-Time in Career Blocks