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A look at Grotto Pizza's most coveted job. Jerry Habraken, The News Journal


How big is Grotto Pizza's March Madness celebration? About 7 feet, 2 inches.

Hall of Fame shot-blocker and former Philadelphia 76er Dikembe Mutombo will squeeze into Wilmington's Grotto Pizza (1819 Pennsylvania Ave.) on Saturday at 7 p.m. as part of festivities surrounding the NCAA men's basketball tournament. 

Mutombo, 52, second in NBA career blocked shots behind Hakeem Olajuwon, will sign autographs and take photos with fans for free.


Philadelphia 76ers' Dikembe Mutombo celebrates his team's 89-88 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, May 30, 2001 in Philadelphia. (Photo: BETH A. KEISER/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Who knows, maybe he'll even wag that famous finger at you.

The bar will serve $3 Coors Light drafts in 22-ounce aluminum collectible 76ers cups during his appearance.

And if you have bracket fever, Grotto has one more pool for you to jump into.


Philadelphia Phillies fans celebrate at Grotto Pizza on Pennsylvania Avenue during the 2008 World Series. The sports bar will welcome former Philadelphia 76er Dikembe Mutombo this weekend as part of its March Madness festivities. (Photo: The New Journal/WILLIAM BRETZGER)

To have a chance to win a $500 Grotto Pizza gift card, drop off your handwritten bracket to any one of Grotto's Delaware locations before Thursday at noon.

Throughout the entire NCAA men's basketball tournament, which begins Thursday and concludes with the national championship April 8, all Grotto Pizza locations will offer $4 22-ounce Coors Light drafts and two bar pizza slices cuts for $4.

In addition, raffles will be held March 28-31 including cooler, backpack, hoodie and duffel bag giveaways.

Mutombo, an eight-time all-star, was traded to the 76ers from the Atlanta Hawks in 2001.

Alongside Allen Iverson, the 76ers swept the Indiana Pacers that year in the first round of the playoffs before also disposing of both the Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks.

They went on to the NBA Finals, losing to the Los Angeles Lakers, led by Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, in five games. 

In retirement, Mutombo has focused on his humanitarian work with the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, which he founded in 1997.

Contact Ryan Cormier of The News Journal at rcormier@delawareonline.com or (302) 324-2863. Follow him on Facebook (@ryancormier), Twitter (@ryancormier) and Instagram (@ryancormier).

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Source : https://www.delawareonline.com/story/entertainment/2019/03/20/dikembe-mutombo-at-grotto-pizza-march-madness-celebration-wilmington/3210787002/

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