The Democratic Republic of Congo has actually churned out some decent NBA talent and players, however their national basketball team hasn’t exactly succeeded – they have yet to make the FIBA World Championship. Its biggest success to date was the Final Four placement at the 1975 FIBA Africa Championship when it competed as Zaire.
Congo NBA Players:
Bismack Biyombo Sumba
Before we say anything about Bismack ‘The Biz’ Biyombo, let’s just say that he has one of the worst and profitable contracts in the NBA. The GM who gave it to him should be fired. That’s all. Please continue below.
Sumba was born in August 1992 and is a basketball pro from the Congo. He hails from Lubumbashi. His parents are Françoise and François Biyombo. He also has three brothers, named Bikim, Biska, and Billy, and three sisters named Bimela, Bikelene, and Bimeline. Sumba was discovered at age 16 by Mario Palma, who was a basketball coach. This was when he was participating in a Yemen-based youth tournament. This discovery led him to get training in Spain.
He played for Fuenlabrada-Getafe Madrid in the EBA in 2009-2010. Then, he moved to CB Illescas and played in the LEB Silver League. He stayed on for the 2010-2011 season with them but moved to the ACB League and played with Baloncesto Fuenlabrada in 2011.
Finally, he got selected as the seventh pick in the NBA Draft of 2011. He was first with the Sacramento Kings then traded to the then-named Charlotte Bobcats and is now part of the Orlando Magic of NBA.
Christian Eyenga Moenge
Eyenga is a Congolese basketball player at the professional level. He was born in 1989 on June 22. He played for Montakit Fuenlabrada in the Liga ACB. He became an NBA player in the June of 2009. He was the 30th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.
After being drafted, he played with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Prat, a Spanish Third Division club, which was affiliated with the ACB club DKV Joventut.
Eyenga then played in the NBA Summer League of 2010 with the Cleveland Cavaliers. This led to a two-year contract with the same team. However, he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers after these two years. Ramon Sessions was with him in this trade-off. He got into the Lakers through a protected pick from the first round.
He then signed on to Joventut Badalona to play in Spain in October 2011 where there was an NBA lockout. Eyenga then became a player for Shanxi Zhongyu to play for China. From there on, he hopped from one place in Europe to another and finally signed a contract with Fuenlabrada in 2017.
Emmanuel Kabeya Mudiay
Mudiay was born in March 1996 and is a Congolese pro at basketball. He was born in Kinshasa, Zaire to parents Therese Kabeya and Jean-Paul Mudiay. However, his father died when Mudiay was still in his early years. His family was also greatly affected by the Second Congo War. His mother grew vegetables and coffee in order to support her family, but it was barely enough.
Mudiay’s family finally managed to get to the United States in 2001. While he only spoke French at the time of his arrival in the US, he and his brothers felt at home in their new country.
Mudiay started playing basketball when in middle school and showed talent for the point guard position. He then played basketball at the high school level for both Prime Prep Academy and the Grace Preparatory Academy. This gained him a lot of attention from the media. He was supposed to play for the SMU Mustangs basketball team in August 2013 but left college and played for the Chinese Guangdong Southern Tigers instead. That season was filled with injuries for him, but he was still picked seventh by the NBA Draft for 2015. Hence, he became a part of the Denver Nuggets.
Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo
Usually known as just Dikembe Mutombo, this basketball pro is a Congolese American. He was born in June 1966 and played in the NBA for eighteen seasons. He is also famous for his humanitarian efforts.
Weighing 260 pounds and having a height of 7’2″, Mutombo started out with the Georgetown Hoyas. He is known for being one of the top defensive players and shot blockers in NBA and basketball history. He is a four-time winner of the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. Plus, he was an All-Star eight times. He overtook the famous Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become second in the most prolific shot blockers of all time. Only Hakeem Olajuwon has bested him in this area.
Mutombo stands in the twelfth position for career double-doubles. He also tied for the second position in triple-doubles during his career. These doubles included block, rebounds, and points.
After the NBA playoffs of 2009, Mutombo announced that he was retiring. He became a Hall of Famer at the Naismith Memorial on September 11 in 2015.
Mutombo was born in what is now known as Kinshasa in the Republic of Congo. He has eleven siblings and his parents’ names are Samuel and Biamba. He speaks a multitude of languages, including French, English, Spanish, and several Central African dialects. He is of Luba ethnicity. In 1987, he came to the United States when he was 21 and started college there.
Due to his height, long limbs, and sheer power, he earned the nickname Mt. Mutombo. His performance was so impressive that he played 2.8 blocks with 10.3 rebounds in each of his games on average. He was also a prolific offensive player, gaining an average of ten points for every game he played.
However, his career was also a bit notorious for being unsportsmanlike. Whenever he blocked a player, he would taunt his rivals by shaking his index finger. This was a technical foul and one reprimanded by NBA officials. However, he managed to avoid the foul later on by waving his finger at the crowd instead.
His humanitarian work includes a foundation to work on the living standard in his native country. These activities won him the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in both 2009 and 2001. His foundation planned to construct a large hospital near his hometown. This started functioning in 2007 after some troubles with fund collection and was the first modern hospital in the area in four decades.