From Congo Playgrounds to Global Impact: Serge Ibaka Elected To NBPA Foundation Board

New York, New York: Today, the NBPA Foundation, the charitable arm of the National Basketball Players' Association (NBPA), welcomes Serge Ibaka, current player for the NBA Toronto Raptors, to its Board of Directors. According to the Foundation, the appointment highlights Ibaka's personal journey as one that has inspired many players and others while it also speaks directly to the philanthropic role of sports in society.

 [L to R] At the Biosteele Centre Toronto, Ontario: Michele Roberts - Executive Director, NBPA; Serge Ibaka - Professional Basketball Player, NBA Toronto Raptors; Sherrie Deans - Executive Director, NBPA Foundation; Chrysa Chin - Executive Vice President, Strategy & Development, NBPA

[L to R] At the Biosteele Centre Toronto, Ontario: Michele Roberts - Executive Director, NBPA; Serge Ibaka - Professional Basketball Player, NBA Toronto Raptors; Sherrie Deans - Executive Director, NBPA Foundation; Chrysa Chin - Executive Vice President, Strategy & Development, NBPA

Sherrie Deans, Executive Director of the NBPA Foundation said, “Serge's insights and his accomplishments in international charity and philanthropy complement the wide-ranging work being done by our board president, Chris Paul and vice president, LeBron James.  With Chris, LeBron and Serge on our board, we have an even stronger team to help us support and develop the charitable work of our players in the US and around the world.”

“It is an honor and a privilege to be part of the board of the NBPA’s Foundation. I take it as an opportunity to learn and help and add as much as I can to the already incredible work done by the Foundation,” said Ibaka.

Since being drafted in 2008, Ibaka has earned a place among the most recognized players in the NBA. He grew up playing on the courts of Avenir du Rail and Charles de Gaulle park in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo. He left at the age of 17 to pursue a professional career, starting in France, then going on to Spain where he was noticed by NBA scouts after standout performances in international showcases. As seen in the acclaimed documentary film series Son of The Congo,” he is conscious about making his off-court journey a priority when it comes to helping others achieve their highest personal goals. Ibaka has made yearly trips home on a mission with the Serge Ibaka Foundation to improve the lives of youth in his hometown and to learn how those improvements can be sustained.

Now entering its 20th year, the Foundation seeks to bring a growing body of work by the players to the forefront and offer an updated view on what “giving back” means with respect to professional basketball players. The players' work has advanced over time and spans a wide range of activities, from charitable initiatives to social entrepreneurship and impact investing. Further, players have embraced their roles as millennial change-makers and engaged citizens and have set out to make new connections with the public by using initiatives like Everyday Dadto share their experiences and invite other fathers and families to tell their stories as well.

Ibaka joins current board members Michele Roberts - NBPA Executive Director, Chrysa Chin, Executive Vice President, Strategy & Development, NBPA, alongside fellow players and longtime philanthropists Chris Paul and Lebron James.

About The NBPA Foundation: The NBPA Foundation is the charitable arm of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), the union for current professional basketball players in the NBA. The Foundation provides strategic funding and support for players' community engagement initiatives worldwide. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.nbpafoundation.com.

Carlos Williams