Serge Ibaka’s relationship with his daughter is far from typical, but their story is certainly an incredible one.
Chris Mannix of The Vertical recently sat down with the Oklahoma City Thunder big man to talk about how he reconnected with his young daughter, Ranie, and the impact that she has had on his life since. When he came to America from the Congo to pursue his basketball career at age 17, Ibaka had no idea that he had a child on the way with a woman he had dated at home.
After Ranie was born, Ibaka’s family kept her a secret because they feared he would abandon his NBA career and return home to care for her. It wasn’t until Ibaka was an established NBA player that he found out about Ranie’s existence.
Though it took years for the two to come together, that hasn’t stopped them from making up for lost time. Ranie has since moved to America and lives with her father, who has made her the focus of his life.
“Her being here changed my life,” Ibaka said. “She’s a gift from God. I try to do the best possible I can to be the best person I can be for her, to be there for her and support her.”
Ibaka has a little bit of help raising Ranie as he attempts to balance basketball and fatherhood, but it’s clear that he’s adamant on giving her a better life than he had growing up.
(Via The Vertical)