- Hi, here's info from Jordi, Serge's agent (or whatever the title is). "all of them are in Brazzaville. The 2 with the Unicef shirt are at the orphanages. Same as the one with the kids and the Welcome sign. The one where Serge is shooting is at the new Avenir du Rail court. The other is from the Place de Gaulle court, which will hopefully be rebuild soon. Please credit them all as SERGE IBAKA FOUNDATION "
He is a 6-foot-10-inch 25-year-old power forward/center who speaks four languages and is a force of nature when it comes to his charitable foundation.
Born in Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo, Oklahoma City Thunders Serge Ibaka has climbed above some of the hardships he faced growing up there.
Brazzaville and Congo are home for me. It went through difficult times in the past, but its making progress each year. A lot of people are investing money and resources so that it becomes a better country, said Ibaka. But there is still a lot of room for improvement, especially for kids.
Ibaka is all about giving back and paying it forward. He started the Serge Ibaka Foundation with a special focus on kids.
They are the most vulnerable, and a lot of them in the Congo and the US dont have anyone looking out for them, said Ibaka. Pros For Africa is an organization that has helped me a lot the last three years, with my charity gala in OKC and coming to help in the Congo the last two years. They do a great job connecting people with an ultimate goal to help people in need in Africa.
Ibaka grew up playing in the streets of Brazzaville, something most kids do even today. First, he played soccer, and then, because his parents played, he picked up basketball. However, there werent many opportunities for him there.
For me, it was in my genes to play ball, but the infrastructures were, and still are, deficient in general. Hopefully we can change that soon, he said.Last year, Ibaka and his foundation rebuilt a basketball court with rims and stands with official measurements in the very same sports club he grew up playing in: Avenir du Rail.
The charity also provided shoes, uniforms and basketballs for the club.
This is just one court in one neighborhood, and many more areas need to be fixed. Kids dont have basketballs or sneakers to play with, for example. So to be able to provide that is a big step, said Ibaka.
Ibakas foundation, working with Pros For Africa, is working at full speed on additional projects.
We want to rebuild another public court so kids can use it for free, Ibaka said.
The foundations charity gala is focused on raising funds for Ibakas foundation and for UNICEF. The foundation is working with UNICEF to develop a program focused on orphan youth. It works closely with the youth to help them secure an independent future.
Also, with Pros For Africa, we have developed a relationship with the Starkey Foundation, which delivers hearing aids in many countries, Congo included, Ibaka said.
Ibakas Thunder teammates encourage each other both on the court and off.
We all support each other no matter what any of us do. I have talked to some of them about coming to the Congo, and hopefully they will, Ibaka said.
For more information, contact charityprogram.sergeibaka.com.
Print headline: Anti-poverty play, Oklahoma City Thunders Serge Ibaka heads home with his Brazzaville-focused foundation.