What looks like an incredible travel journey describes a bit the past and possible future road of one of the brightest talents that is present at the moment on the European basketball scene. Present? Maybe it is not the right word as the player I am talking about has still not played one minute of professional basketball.
I am talking about Serge Ibaka, a 2m08 forward native from Congo and actually with the Spanish EBA club of l’Hospitalet. The whole hype on the net around him started with an article about him on Draftexpress in June of 2007. Ibaka is described as one of the most interesting talents in the Spanish youth circuit.
Now, in an article published today on the site of the Spanish Newspaper 20 minutos, you get some more information about the odyssey and problems Ibaka faces these days. You will know that he spent some months in France, with the low-level team of Prissé-Macon, but he never played there as he did not get a playing license. Then he was contacted by the Spanish team L’Hospitalet, where he signed a four year deal. However, he still has not played for them as the French club now states Ibaka has signed a contract with them. And then finally, there is the Congolese federation that also states that the player’s rights belong to them.
So even until now, not a lot of people have seen him actually play, but all the NBA scouts that have seen him in action are really enjoyed by what they saw. This doesn’t mean anything as all the games he played so far were on youth team events. But on the youtube clip that is on the Draftexpress article, you can easily recognize that Ibaka got game. But don’t start raving too much too early, check also the opponents he faces on that clip and you will see that on the professional level, it won’t be that easy.
But who knows? On the Adidas Nations Basketball event this summer, Serge Ibaka was among the top prospects that stood out in front of NBA executives. And maybe, he will be drafted as soon as this summer, as he declared being ready for the NBA Draft 2008.