Mutombo prays for Embiid daily: 'May God heal him'
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports / Action Images

If he can stay on the court, it's pretty clear Joel Embiid has a bright NBA future ahead of him. Still, given he's played just 31 games through three seasons, that's a not-insignificant "if."

But, on top of the Philadelphia 76ers' training and medical staff, Embiid has loving friends praying constantly for his health.

Embiid missed his first two seasons with a slow-healing foot fracture, and had his rookie campaign cut short last year after tearing the meniscus in his left knee.

Mutombo, one of the patriarchs of basketball in Africa, has long been a mentor to the Cameroonian-born Sixers big man.

"I just love the kid," he said of Embiid to The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears earlier this month. "I love his game. I love the approach the game he has on any given night the way he plays. There is not much concern if he can get hurt every game or not. He just wants to play the game. I’ve been praying a lot for him, a lot that he will get an opportunity to play a full season in the NBA. I hope it's coming. He really wants to follow in my footsteps, and I'm happy to see that."

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Mutombo prays for Embiid daily: 'May God heal him'
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