Sporting News magazine describes Bismack Biyombo as “this year’s fascinating international mystery man, the player who has come virtually out of nowhere,” and is now expected to be a top pick in the National Basketball Association Draft June 23.
Part of the mystery surrounds Biyombo’s age. Officially, he was born August 28, 1992, in Lubumbashi, a city in the southern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, near the DRC’s border with Zambia and Angola. Some NBA scouts, though, believe Biyombo is older than 18, perhaps partly based on his facial features and muscular, developed physique. At 2.08 meters tall and a chiseled 110 kilograms, Biyombo has impressed scouts with his athleticism and shot-blocking ability.
Former Angolan national team coach Mario Palma is credited with discovering Biyombo when he was 16 at a youth tournament in Yemen. The Congolese player made his pro basketball debut earlier this year in Spain, where he appeared in 14 games for Fuenlabrada in the country’s top division, averaging 16.6 minutes, 6.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks.
In April, Biyombo earned accolades for his play at the Nike Hoop Summit in the northwestern U.S. state of Oregon. You can check out some of his highlights in this video.
Bismack Biyombo has been compared with Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who is from Congo-Brazzaville. Ibaka recently completed his second season in the NBA, and he showed big improvement from his rookie year, especially on the offensive end. There are more than a few NBA teams that believe Biyombo can also develop his offensive skills and find a place in basketball’s premier league.