Orlando Magic's Bismack Biyombo spends holiday with siblings for first time in years
From NBA media reports
One of the true good guys in the league is Bismack Biyombo, the swatting center for the Magic. Approachable, polite and professional, Biyombo has been a locker room favorite in Charlotte, Toronto and now Orlando, and it’s easy to see why.
He came to this country without anything, growing up poor in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The money he makes from one game could support a family back in his homeland for a year.
The Magic don’t play on Christmas but it’ll be a big moment for Biyombo anyway. For the first time since he left home, he’ll spend the holiday with all six of his siblings — three brothers and three sisters.
Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel spent time with the family and wrote this:
“He’s just a great brother,” said Bimeline, who is 18 and is interested in becoming a nurse. “He’s just so great in everything. I don’t know how to thank him, but I’m blessed to have him in my life. I love him so much.”
Bismack is 25 years old — the oldest of François and Françoise Biyombo’s seven children. Years ago, when Bismack’s parents were away from their home working, they would put Bismack in charge.
Now, about a decade since he last baby-sat his siblings back home, Bismack feels a greater responsibility. He doesn’t have kids of his own, but he regards himself as a second dad to Billy, Biska, Bikim, Bimeline, Bikeline and Bimela.
“To me, it doesn’t get any better than this,” Bismack said. “Every time I go to bed, I feel fulfilled. It’s great. Quite frankly, it’s a great feeling to work with. You see the little sisters growing up. You see the little brother becoming a man. It’s great.”
As the NBA expanded its borders well beyond the States, plenty of players arrived, acclimated well and made a generous living for themselves. But there’s always a story behind the story, of how they left family behind to pursue their dreams, of how they’ve tried to maintain a sense of culture and connection despite being an ocean (or two) away.
And very often, like Biyombo, they’ve taken the role of provider for the education of their siblings and also helping them migrate to America to find a better way as well.
So here’s to the Biyombo family, wishing them well on the biggest holiday of the year in the U.S., and hoping they, too, will find the same success as their very tall brother. That’s what the American dream is all about.