“Son Of The Congo”

March 23, 2015

By Tab Byrum

Good Monday morning, I hope everyone had a great weekend.  This past Saturday night Michael and I were fortunate in that we were able to attend the premiere of a new documentary film titled “Son Of The Congo”.  This film focuses on NBA basketball player Serge Ibaka, who is near and dear to our hearts in Oklahoma as one of the stars of the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team.  The film follows Ibaka as he returns to his African hometown of Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo and shows us exactly where this NBA superstar came from and what it took to get him to where he is today.

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In the film you are introduced to his family still living in Congo, with focus being on two special ladies in his life, the grandmother who took him in after the death of his mother and his father was sent to prison during the Second Congo War, and we are also introduced to his 7 year old daughter who still lives in Congo, but hopes to join her father stateside in the near future.  Ibaka visits other family members in Brazzaville and is swarmed by the locals who want to catch a glimpse of the man turned basketball god in their eyes, we visit the house where he was born and witness the poverty and 3rd world conditions that gave rise to Serge Ibaka.

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We also witness the humanitarian Ibaka, the man who has been trained to fit people with hearing aids and the joy he experiences when he helps a little girl hear for the first time, we see the deliveries of food, clothing and medicine and follow Ibaka to an orphanage as he tries to see how else he can help his homeland.

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This hour long film is wonderful and I encourage you to watch when you can, it’s available today at grantland.com and will be on ESPN on April 17 at 9 pm eastern.  This is a truly inspiring story of how and why, not to be missed. 

 

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