Tall, dark, handsome, polyglot, chef, fashion icon.
Enough about me, let’s talk about Serge Ibaka.
The Congolese-Spanish professional basketball player has had a successful NBA career with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors, and now Los Angeles Clippers. He’s a shooting threat and consistent defensive presence.
Off the court, Ibaka hasn’t said “I do” yet, but he’s been in relationships with some talented women.
During the 2011 NBA lockout, Ibaka returned to Spain and signed a two-month contract with Real Madrid.
During that time, he had a relationship with Spanish model Hedisa Visapa. The fling fizzled out once Ibaka returned to the NBA.
Ibaka dated R&B singer, songwriter, and actress Keri Hilson from 2012 to 2016. Hilson has released two albums: 2009’s In A Perfect World… and 2010’s No Boys Allowed. In A Perfect World… went gold.
Ibaka and Hilson appeared together several times at public events, including at Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook‘s wedding in 2015.
The couple reportedly were off and on in their four-year relationship. In 2014, Ibaka posted a now-deleted Instagram post with him hugging Hilson after an OKC Thunder game saying, “Had to get my girl back.”
The couple officially called it quits in November 2016.
In an interview with Rolling Out, Hilson elaborated on how her relationship with Ibaka prepared her for future love:
“I am here to talk about music and do music. I am not here to talk about what happens behind closed doors. That has become such a huge part of our interviews and what society wants to know about you … beyond the music. It feels really invasive. I will make different decisions in future relationships. When you put things on Front Street, it opens the door for opinions. It opens the door for wolves to attack. I certainly have been placed in that position where things have been written about me as it pertains to relationships that are so far from the truth. To me, that’s a personal attack. You can talk about my music all day, but when it comes to making up things and a character attack, I don’t take them well. It makes me want to be completely mysterious. You can’t really stop it though. It’s the climate we’re in.”
Following Hilson, the power forward is reportedly dating South African actress Pearl Thusi. They are rumored to have met at the 2017 NBA Africa Games in Johannesburg.
The couple hasn’t officially confirmed their relationship, but Thusi attended multiple Raptors games while the NBA star played in Toronto and they’ve made cameos on each other’s social media accounts.
The two are said to still be together as of 2020.
Serge Ibaka Basketball Career
Serge Jonas Ibaka Ngobila was born on September 18, 1989 in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo. In a home full of basketball-playing family members, Serge picked up the sport at a young age. He used the game as an escape from his mother’s untimely death and father’s imprisonment during the Second Congo War.
At 17, he moved to France and joined a second-division basketball team before moving to Spain. He started to gain recognition with the club CB L’Hospitalet. By 2008, he was a known National Basketball Association prospect.
He entered the 2008 NBA Draft in New York City and was the 24th pick by the Seattle SuperSonics. He played for Ricoh Manresa of the Spanish ACB League for a year before joining the newly branded Oklahoma City Thunder in 2009.
Since entering the league, Ibaka has played a vital role on each of his teams and has the accomplishments to show:
— NBA Champion (2019)
— 3x NBA All-Defensive First Team (2012-14)
— 2x NBA Blocks Leader (2012, 2013)
After winning the 2019 NBA Finals in Toronto, Ibaka is chasing a title with his buddy Kawhi Leonard again in Los Angeles. The Clippers zeroed in on Ibaka after losing Montrezl Harrell to the Los Angels Lakers.
Internationally, Ibaka suits up for the Spanish national team.
Daughter Ranie Ibaka
Ibaka unknowingly fathered his daughter Raine shorty before he left to pursue a basketball career in Europe. Her mother told Serge’s father, Desire, in secret and he helped raise his granddaughter.
The 24th-overall pick in 2008 found out about Ranie when she was 5. They met for the first time when she was 11.
Ranie moved to the United States with her dad, and they share a close relationship.