By Amy Wenk

Cumberland Academy of Georgia Dec. 4 welcomed former Atlanta Hawks player Dikembe Mutombo.

The school on Mount Vernon Highway in Sandy Springs holds an annual “teachers versus students” game, and this year invited the 7-foot, 2-inch Mutombo to aid the students. The basketball player is a friend of Cumberland founders Debbi and Matthew Scarborough, who opened the school in 2007 to meet the needs of their son Steven.

The academy that hails students from metro Atlanta specializes in teaching children grades fourth through 12th with learning disabilities like Asperger’s Syndrome, ADD, ADHD and autism.

“I think Cumberland Academy is such a great academy, offering the opportunity to so many children,” said Mutombo, who added his father was a teacher for 37 years. “I know the importance of education. I have a great respect for every teacher out there.”

The students won the game but just barely. The final score was 46 to 45.

“It was pretty interesting,” said 13-year-old Jake Meriwether, an eighth-grader at Cumberland Academy. “We beat the teachers last year by about 10 points though.”