Serge Ibaka Speaks: Playing Basketball In Congo

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mag14_bww_serge02_576x709This article below … although old really connected with me.

It’s an article that talks about how Serge Ibaka (if you don’t know him ask google) an NBA all-star started playing basketball.

The irony … abi the interesting thing about the article is that he started playing without a real basketball, he and his friends just put together lot’s of plastic bags to form the shape of a ball and boom … that was it. They had a basketball.

We might not always have the right equipment for that sport we love, or the right design program for that picture we want to create, shoot we might want to be a writer but we don’t even have a laptop! But if you have the hunger and desire to succeed you will find your way around these obstacles.

When I started drawing cartoons I would sketch on a piece of paper and then take a picture with my phone, they were not the best sketches but I started and kept getting better at it (at least I hope they are better…lol).

But you know the most popular questions I get from people about illustrating? It’s this … what program do you use or what equipment do you use … and inside I want to scream, forget about the program or the equipment just start sketching with whatever you have…tissue paper, newspaper, mouse pad…just keep at it. And soon you will realize that the equipment is not the obstacle or the ladder … its you. Just you and your drive to succeed!

Article Excerpt

I remember my first moment playing basketball. It was in the Congo. I think I was like 7 or 8. My mom and dad played basketball too, so my dad was always asking me to come to see him play. So one day one of the guys who was playing with my dad, he said, “Hey, let me teach you something.” So he took an empty bottle of water and was using it as a ball and he said, “OK, take one step and do two and then jump — that’s all it is.” I went back home, and all night I was doing it. All night. That’s all I could think about. Even in the bathroom, I’m brushing my teeth and I start doing this. That’s where everything started.

Our court was the street. We’d collect a lot of plastic bags that we’d put together and it would become like a basketball and we’d start shooting with it. It was expensive to have a basketball. We’d just hang some basket on the street — something we could just shoot at where the ball could go in. We used a lot of things — a tire from a bike. That’s how we would play.


Spalding-BallPicture Credit
Other Credits for picture Mr and Mrs. Ibaka
Ball Picture Credit Spalding
This is an excerpt from ESPN article OKC’s Serge Ibaka unveils it all read full article at



Author: Ofili

Words by Okechukwu Ofili of
Follow him on Twitter
Stalk him on Instagram
Read his crazy titled books on konga or okadabooks
Feed his children at…no wait he has no kids…. 

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6 comments on “Serge Ibaka Speaks: Playing Basketball In Congo

  1. Exactly, we have to start somewhere. We need to erase this ” it is not yet perfect” mentality and just DO it! Just Do it regardless of whether it makes sense or not.

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