Case Studies > ESPN “Son of the Congo” Directed By Adam Hootnick


Son of the Congo reveals Serge Ibaka’s inspiring path from poverty to NBA stardom. You may know of Serge Ibaka through his smothering defense for the Oklahoma City Thunder and now Orlando Magic, but most don’t know the story behind the man himself, including the sacrifices he made to make it from the Congo to the NBA. Adam’s documentary dives into Serge’s background, what it took to make it out of his country, and why he now strives to give back to the community that raised him.

Ibaka went on a two-week trip back to his home country, where he met with his daughter and family, opened up a local basketball court, and told many of the natives about his story in hopes of inspiring them to make their own dreams come true.


Serge spoke with children about his journey, reminding them that he came from the same roots. Most in his country don’t see a way out of the poverty and adversity that surround them, but he perfectly exemplifies how the power of passion and hard work can lead to a brighter future. Even if they don’t dream of the NBA, Serge wants them do something great and achieve their goals to make a better life for themselves and their families.

The documentary includes interviews with some of the people closest to Serge, including his grandmother and management team, as they give insight into the inspiring tale behind this dedicated man.