Biyombo visits Pope Francis at the Vatican

A leg injury forced Pope Francis to cancel his visit to the Congo between July 2 and July 7. The 85-year-old head of the Catholic Church suffers a sprain in his right knee and the doctors have recommended rest despite his busy schedule. Given the impossibility of traveling to the African country, it was the religious leader who received the visit in the Vatican of Bismack Biyombo, NBA player and one of the great stars of Congolese sport.

The Phoenix Suns center discussed with the Pope the efforts of his foundation, which began as a basketball school for disadvantaged children and later expanded its impact to provide scholarships, renovate schools and build hospitals. The 29-year-old, who played in the CB Illescas and Fuenlabrada Before making the leap to the NBA, he explained the reason for his visit to Francisco in a brief interview with the media:

“If he’s not feeling well and can’t get on a plane, I thought I could come and bring Congo to him. Being in his presence is a blessing, I would have loved to come with my mother, but she is happy that I can do this and receive the Pope’s blessing.”

Biyombo, who has spent 11 seasons in the United States, made headlines this year after donate his entire salary with the Suns ($1.3 million) to build a hospital in his native country. The center will bear the name of his father Fran├žois, who died in the summer of 2021 due to covid-19. Between October 2021 and January 2022, the player did not sign with any team in the NBA as he was still in the Congo, grieving the death of his father.

According to Biyombo, in the Congo there is only one doctor for every 10,000 inhabitants, a figure that he wants to help reverse. The player will be a free agent again this summer.

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