The Vertical’s Chris Mannix tells the story of how Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka reconnected with his daughter, Ranie. Ibaka, a core piece of one of the NBA’s best teams, left the Congo at age 17 to pursue a basketball career and a better life. With his basketball career in mind, his mother kept a major secret from him – that he had a daughter – because she was fearful Ibaka would return to live in the war-torn country. Just three years ago, Ibaka learned of Ranie, and now she is the focus of his life.
This mysterious revelation came during a routine discussion after a regular-season victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. The Thunder star was describing his game-winning block on the Clippers’ Chris Paul, and that’s when he confessed. “He’s 6 feet tall,” Durant said, “and I’m 6-11.” It was a rare example of Durant slipping up by mentioning his actual height. Since joining the league, Durant has gone with an extremely conservative height, one that Thunder teammate Steven Adams calls “bull—.”