• Ibaka, the No. 24 pick of the 2008 NBA Draft, averaged 6.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.33 blocks and 18.1 minutes in 73 games during his rookie season.

  • Ibaka's 1.33 blocks per game (97 total) led both the Thunder and all NBA rookies this season.

  • Ibaka blocked a career-high seven shots in Game 2 of the Thunder's first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers.

  • Ibaka blocked a shot in all but 23 games this season, and had a block in nine consecutive games in late March.

  • Ibaka ranked fourth among rookies in rebounding.

  • Ibaka grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds against the Lakers on Dec. 22, the most by a Thunder rookie since Jeff Green in 2007.

  • Ibaka scored in double-figures in 13 of the last 26 games of the season.

  • Ibaka registered four double-doubles on the season.

  • Ibaka scored 10 or more points on 18 separate occasions and pulled down 10 or more rebounds in eight games.

  • Ibaka had back-to-back 10-rebound games for the first time in his career against the Miami Heat on Jan. 16 and Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 18.

  • Ibaka averaged 7.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks when the Thunder played back-to-back games.

A late first-round draft pick of the Oklahoma City franchise in 2008, the African-born Serge Ibaka officially joined the Thunder over the summer with every intention of staying for good.

Blessed with raw athletic talent, brute strength, extreme versatility and a quick wit, Ibaka has found himself yet again in transition.

Consider this: in the last four years, he has lived through a civil war, been separated from his family, moved to Spain, learned a new language and culture, been drafted into the NBA and moved to Oklahoma City.

Ibaka was born to basketball-playing parents in the city of Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo and home to nearly 1.5 million Africans situated along the Congo River.

The third youngest of 18 children, Ibaka was forced to leave his hometown around the age of eight when the Second Congo War, also known as Africa’s World War, began. Raised by relatives during the civil war, Ibaka returned home three years later, and it was then that he started to pursue his love of basketball. He learned how to play from his father, who was a member of the country’s national team.

Ibaka played for three Spanish clubs - L’Hospitalet in Barcelona of the LEB, a second-tier league, and DKV Joventut before landing with Ricoh Manresa – before the Thunder brought him to the United States last spring.

Ibaka’s coming-out-party of sorts came during both summer leagues. After posting averages of 12.3 points and 3.3 rebounds on 67.9 percent shooting in four games in Orlando, Ibaka averaged 5.4 points and 5.3 rebounds in about five fewer minutes per game.

The Thunder signed Ibaka to a multiyear contract on July 11, and the forward began the season in training camp.