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On the basketball court, NBA all-star legend Dikembe Mutombo was a good-humored goofball known to tease his opponents by playfully wagging his finger at them, like he was scolding an annoying child. Once considered one of the greatest defensive players and shot blockers of all time, Mutombo was equally revered as a humanitarian fighter who battled poverty and oppression in his homeland, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and as a tireless leader in the fight to end polio globally.

With that same goal in mind, he met with State Department officials in November 2010 to discuss the illegal and oftentimes bloody sale of gold and other “conflict minerals” from Congo. Less than two weeks after the meeting with state officials, the Houston Chronicle reported that Mutombo, whose career earnings topped $145 million, flew to New York with a greedy and hypocritical plan to persuade a Houston energy mogul to invest $10 million in gold from the mines of Congo.