OKC Thunder’s Ibaka to spend time with Children’s Hospital patients
OKLAHOMA CITY– Thunder player, Serge Ibaka, through the new Serge Ibaka Foundation, is using his passion for helping children by participating in a new support group that will encourage and inspire teens with chronic illnesses.
According to The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center, Ibaka will take a group of teens from the hospital on outings where they can have a good time with kids their own age. Those involved with the teen group are hoping that the activities will help the kids learn and build relationships that will help emotionally and physically with the long-term management of their illnesses.
“The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center is a great hospital and they do a huge job every day with these kids,” Ibaka said. “It’s a privilege to be able to meet and encourage them to stay positive to beat their illnesses. The Serge Ibaka Foundation will try to contribute to the hospital’s work, make a positive impact and support the kids and inspire them. But at the same time, with their strength and determination, they end up inspiring all of us,” he said in a statement.
Ibaka will attend the first teen group on January 12th at The Children’s Hospital. Group members will also get to interact with the NBA star, who plans to visit and participate in the group regularly, as well as give members opportunities to attend Oklahoma City Thunder basketball games.
Ibaka first visited Children’s last year, and says he has since felt a strong connection to helping children at the hospital facing difficult circumstances and illnesses. Participating in the teen group is one of many ways Ibaka helps children and families through the Serge Ibaka Foundation.
“The Serge Ibaka Foundation is focused on helping the children because they are the most vulnerable. We are working with orphan kids in Congo, where I was born. But it was a longtime aspiration to give back to the OKC community, which now I also call home after six years of playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder,” Ibaka said.