After I made it to the NBA, I said that I didn't want to be the last player from Africa. After my rookie year, I went to the league and talked about this, and they embraced my idea and started conducting basketball clinics in Africa, and that's when I knew I wouldn't be the last African.
I just love kids. As a kid, I grew up in a poor country with a poor family that had nothing. I loved anyone who could come into my life, in from the outside, and give me advice that could help me succeed. I believe that there are a lot of people who came into my life that made me Dikembe Mutombo.
Basketball Without Borders is a leadership camp that takes basketball to different places around the world, to Africa, Europe, America and Asia. It's a camp that brings players from different parts of the continent to one city that's been assigned as the host city. We've been going to a different city every year.
I was not very strong growing up, and my uncle used to look at me, like, 'This kid is not growing up, he is growing tall but he can be broken like a banana.' The banana in Congo is called 'Dikembe.' So my uncle start calling me, 'Dikembe, Dikembe, look at you Dikembe, you cannot even stand up.' It took a long time for me to walk.
I always felt that I had to leave a legacy on the African continent. As I was only the third player to come to the NBA from Africa, I felt I had to do my best to recruit more young Africans to come and play in the NBA - and also find a way to bring the NBA to Africa.
It's really sad looking at people like Lindsay Lohan. She's an amazing actress, but you see what happens when people know too much about your personal life. They start not being able to look at you the same way professionally. I don't want that to happen to me.