In his hometown of Brazzaville, Serge Ibaka hosted the Dreams Academy basketball camp for another summer. The Makélékélé gym was the location for the camp, part of the Cowbell Ibaka Games event. Ibaka spent time with the participating kids, who listened to the motivating stories by the Raptors player. The coaches, who share the same basketball courts with Ibaka in their youth, motivated the players to take advantage of the opportunity to practice with and in front of an NBA player and a local idol.
Connecting with the congolese youth and inspiring them, and celebrating congolese culture using basketball and music. Those are the goals of the Ibaka Games, which were held for the fourth straight year in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo’s capital and Serge Ibaka’s hometown. In partnership with Cowbell Milk, the event hosted boys and girls from three to eighteen years old and public from all ages.
The event consisted of different activities, outdoor and indoor, at the Makélékélé sports center. Outside, the youngest children from different orphanages participated in an initiation basketball clinic with Serge Ibaka. It was him, too, that greeted the directors of each institution. They received the symbolic bags of dairy product that illustrated the contribution that they will receive during the whole year. Still outside, there were dance, music and art performances building up the anticipation of the main event inside the gym.
In the morning and in the previous day, a selection of kids, fourteen to eighteen years old, had participated in a Serge Ibaka Dreams Academy basketball camp. In the afternoon, the same kids played an exhibition game for the crowd, that filled the stands in an unprecedented way in the city. Almost 4.000 congolese where in attendance. Musical performances and a dunk contest followed and preceded the main event, the celebrity game with Serge Ibaka himself and guests like profesional basketball players Christian Eyenga and Chanel Mokango, or congolese comedias like Saï Saï and Esobe. The crowd cheered and experienced an event rarely seen in the Congo. It was a big celebration of african culture and sports that will for sure have another chapter next summer.
Playing for the first time at the Makelékélé gymnasium in his hometown of Brazzaville was a dream for Serge Ibaka. Partnering with Cowbell, the first Cowbell Ibaka games took place in the summer of 2016. From early in the morning to late in the afternoon, basketball fans and neighbors of Brazzaville had the chance to participate in different activities and to see Serge play in person for the first time.
In the morning, 300 boys and girls from local orphanages participated in a basketball clinic and in recreational activities in the outdoor area of the gymnasium. Cowbell provided lunch and drinks for everybody, and different local performers put on a show for the audience including Serge Ibaka. Six different orphanages received Cowbell dairy products for a whole year and the kids were excited to received the news from Serge himself.
In the afternoon, everybody went inside the gym for the first Cowbell Ibaka Games All Star Game. Two teams comprised of local players from Brazzaville participated in the exhibition game with Serge Ibaka. The Orlando Magic star played one half with each team and told the media that: “it is a dream come true to play in front of my friends, family and fellow people of Brazzaville, and put on a show for people to enjoy and have fun“.
Playing in front of his hometown fans @sergeibaka7 put on a show in the first @cowbellmilk Ibaka Games. #anythingispossible #toutestpossible #todoesposible A video posted by Serge Ibaka Foundation (@sergeibakafoundation) on