Friday, November 15
Updated: November 16, 10:47 AM ET
Bol's fund-raising efforts hit the ice

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Manute Bol has already proven he can take on "The Refrigerator.'' This weekend, he's taking his chances on the ice.

Manute Bol
Manute Bol gets fitted for a hockey helmet by equipment manager Darrin Flinchem.
The 7-foot-7 former NBA player from Sudan is expected to make his first appearance with the Indianapolis Ice on Saturday against the Amarillo Gorillas. Bol agreed to contract terms with the Central Hockey League team earlier this week.

A large jersey emblazoned with "Bol'' and the number ''7'7'' hangs inside the Ice locker room, along with a pair of custom-made size-16½ skates.

Bol, who arrived in Indianapolis on Friday, entered a meeting with reporters wearing a bright blue suit and carrying a hockey stick. He said he's never been on the ice or worn skates, but watches hockey games on television.

"I think it's a great idea,'' Bol said about joining the Ice.

The length of Bol's tenure with the team will be taken one game at a time, but general manager Larry Linde said it brings priceless exposure for the Ice and for Bol's efforts to raise money for the people of his warn-torn homeland.

"In a basketball-crazy market we're always looking for different or unique personalities we can bring in,'' Linde said of Bol, who played 11 seasons with four NBA teams, blocking more shots per minute than anyone in league history.

The plan is for Bol to sit on the bench at the start of Saturday's game, although any chance that he plays remains to be seen, Ice coach Ken McRae said.

"We don't want to take anything away from the game of hockey, and I don't think we are,'' he said. "When the puck drops at the next two games, it's business on the ice as usual.''

Joining this minor league team is just one example of Bol's work to raise money and awareness of conditions in Sudan -- efforts that included spending most of his life's savings and taking on former football player William "The Refrigerator'' Perry in a bout on Fox TV's Celebrity Boxing show.

Bol donated his $35,000 fight fee to the Ring True Foundation, a Connecticut-based charity he set up to benefit southern Sudanese children. He plans to use money he makes with the Ice for the same cause, and the foundation will be publicized at the team's games this weekend.

"I'm not doing it to keep the money for me,'' Bol said. "Anything I can do to help my people out I will do it.''

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