Serge Ibaka is a professional NBA basketball player who hailed from the Republic of Congo. He currently plays in the power forward or center position for the Toronto Raptors.
Ibaka’s father and mother were basketball players, both playing for the national team. While he started playing at an early age, political strife plagued his country and he eventually moved to Spain and began playing for the CB L’Hospitalet, a second division basketball club. His athleticism and skill on the court soon gained the interest of NBA scouts.
In 2018, he became the first player from the Republic of Congo to be selected in the history of the NBA draft. Ibaka was first selected by the Seattle Supersonics and was then signed to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder allowed him to sign with a Spanish ACB League, Ricoh Manresa. The Thunder settled the buyout with the Spanish team in July 2009.
He became a starting player in the Thunder rotation despite being a raw talent in the league. He achieved records like becoming the youngest player to make 7 blocks in a playoff game. During the 2011 lockout, he played for the Spanish team Real Madrid.
Upon his return to the NBA on February 2012, Ibaka recorded the first triple-double of his career. He ranked second after Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks for Defensive Player of the Year. Later that year, he signed contract again to remain with the Thunder.
During the following season, he ranked third in the Defensive Player of the Year awards. While he got sidelined from a calf injury, he maintained an excellent performance and was eventually named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team.
He was traded to the Orlando Magic on June 23, 2016. Ibaka was traded once more to the Toronto Raptors on February 14, 2017.
Career Accomplishments:Gold medal, 2012 London Olympic Games –representing SpainGold medal, 2011 Lithuania FIBA European Championship –representing Spain3-time NBA All-Defensive First Team (2012–2014)2-time NBA blocks leader (2012, 2013)