Serge Ibaka and Keri Hilson made for a beautiful and matching couple when they attended the Oklahoma City premiere of Son of The Congo, a documentary chronicling Serge's humble beginnings and impoverished childhood this week.
In the touching new doc, the 25-year-old Thunder player goes back home and recounts childhood stories of sleeping in the streets after being kicked out at age 12 and playing basketball without any shoes.
While Serge's "started from the bottom now we're here" story may be known to some, what definitely isn't known is that he has a daughter. In the documentary airing on ESPN next month, Serge reveals he's the proud dad of a 7-year-old girl named Ranie. Apparently, Serge's girlfriend became pregnant just before he left Congo, and he had no idea he was a father until his own father who had been financially taking care of Ranie, told him -- just two years ago.
Update: There was a discrepancy with the daughter's age. For clarity, Serge's daughter was five when he first found out about her. According to Channel Four News, Ranie is now 8.
Catch what Serge had to say about finding out he was a dad and developing a relationship with his daughter below:
On learning of his daughter for the first time:
In the States, a lot of people don't know I have a daughter here [in the Congo]. I didn't even find out about her myself until two years ago. When I was here, I had a girlfriend and before I left, she was pregnant, but I didn't know. It was kinda girlfriend, kinda friend, you know?
I left Congo and then the news came to my family that she was pregnant, and I left some woman here pregnant. And after that, my dad told them, 'Please. My song is young. He just left his family, his parents, his country, he's too young. He don't know nobody, he's by himself. Please don't give my son pressure. I'm going to take care of everything.' So my dad took all the responsibility. Finally two years ago, he decides to tell me the truth in the story.
Well, it was kinda shocking a little bit when I heard that for the first time. And I was kinda mad with my dad, too, but he was just trying to do his job to protect me because I was young.
On seeing his daughter:
The first time I [came] back here and I see my daughter and she's calling me "Dad," like, I feel strange. Like, oh my God, like someone's calling me "Dad," like, I'm "Dad!" I can't believe I'm "Dad!"
Now I see her every time I come back in the summer. I put her in school. She's speaking English already here. So, I prepare everything for her to come visit and come live in Europe or in the States with me.
The moments between that he shared with his daughter in the documentary were so heartwarming!