Who could inaugurate the cover of our first issue better than Serge Ibaka. The Congo native who plays in one of the best basketball teams in the world is so handsome, big, strong and elegant. More than an athlete, you will discover that the young man is such a sweetheart that he doesn’t spare time nor energy when it comes to help those in need. It would have been so easy for the young millionaire to deny his roots like many others did before him, but the young man from Congo does not forget where he came from and especially where he’s heading. We had to dedicate our first cover to the one character who personifies the magazine.
Can you tell us more about your foundation?
The “Serge Ibaka Foundation” implements solutions to improve the conditions of education and health for the youth. Without these basic needs, it is impossible to have other topics of interests such as basketball. This is a necessary step to give young people the opportunity to dream as I had the chance to do so before them. It was nicknamed “Son of the Congo” in reference of the title of the documentary ESPN made about me last year.
What example will you give to young people?
I want to help and share what God has given me. I try to use my position to change people’s lives. To advise young Congolese and Africans and eventually help them move abroad and achieve their dreams whether they play football, basketball, judo or whatever. The key for them is to never forget where they are coming from.
Is the foundation active elswhere than Congo?
The foundation exists for less than a year, before I was involved with Unicef. I thought it was necessary to start first at home before expanding.
Is it important for you to get involved with civil society?
Yes, it is very important because I had nothing when I was in the Congo and God got me through it. I want to share my blessings with others.
What are your plans after your basketball career?
I’m focused on my career and we’ll see for the future.
But you are launching a clothing line?
This is for fun, I do this for fun, like any Congolese, I like to dress up. At home we came up with the expression”sapologie”, which means being sharp as a lifestyle.
We are currently working on the project, the merchant site etc… Although I like clothes, it is not my first vocation so I am working with Alba, a US company that makes custom-made clothing for decades, especially for athletes. This is not a conversion, half of the incomes will finance the foundation. We will use the money to help others.
What is your involvement with the collections Class X Alba?
I make the decisions on cuts, colors, materials… I am pretty much a Designer when you look closely at it. I wanted a collection that looks like me, simple with a slim fit.
You are regularly in BET’s ranking of the sexiest players, have you ever thought about modeling?
I get that a lot from people but basketball is what I make my living with, I will never earn as much money being a model.
Is it important to be well dressed for you?
It is essential, that’s my lifestyle, because of my origins you know, it’s in the blood!
You never tried to give advice to Russell Westbrook?
Oh! I prefer not to go there and take care of Serge Ibaka, but I will still give him some shirts…
What does the word “elegance” mean to you?
This defines a person. In general, people who have an eccentric look have a matching personality. Those who are clean-cut pay attention, are meticulous in everything, at home, at work.
Which NBA player could be a “sapeur” according to you?
There are many ! Tyson Chandler is a master at this. Chris Bosh also has a nice style.