NBA star Bismack Biyombo has pledged to donate the entirety of his 2021-2022 salary in order to build a hospital in his home country of Democratic Republic of the Congo. The hospital will be built through his foundation, and Biyombo, who is 29 and plays for the Phoenix Suns, will personally contribute $1.3 million.
Biyombo’s decision is inspired both by his faith and his relationship with his late father, François Biyombo, who died last August.
Speaking about his time playing in Yemen before he was drafted in the NBA, Biyombo had emphasized the importance of his faith in his life, telling Hoops Hype, “You know, there were difficulties because of my religious beliefs. I’m a Christian.”
Now that Biyombo has found success in the U.S., he wants to leverage it to the benefit of his home country. As Biyombo’s father battled medical issues, Biyombo had taken him to receive better treatment in Europe, due to a lack of high quality medical care in the Congo.
“One thing that really sticks out in my mind is that every day I go to the hospital back home to take care of [my dad], I was always asking myself, ‘What about these people that can’t take their family members out,’” Biyombo said in a video announcing the project.
Following his father’s death, Biyombo almost opted not to return to the NBA for another season. However, when he made the decision that he would, he wanted to “find something that would motivate” him.
“I wanted to make this year about my dad, because my dad spent most of his life making his life about me, my brothers, my sisters, and servicing people,” Biyombo said.
Biyombo said that he wants to build a hospital in the Congo to “give hope to the hopeless” and for those who do not have the resources to take their family members to find better treatment outside the country.
“I want to be able to give them better conditions, so that they can somewhat have hope that their loved ones will be able to leave [the hospital] and see another day,” Biyombo said.
Saying that his father’s death has motivated him to do more to improve the lives of the people in his home country, Biyombo said, “I’ve seen how people try to survive daily in the Congo. I thought we were doing enough by refurbishing hospitals and clinics, but I think it’s time that we go a little bigger and build something that will service people, hopefully, for generations.”
Biyombo is wearing the number 18 this season to honor his dad’s birthday, June 18. The new hospital in Congo will also bear François Biyombo’s name.
Watch Biyombo’s announcement of the project below.