Raptors’ Ibaka discusses scarves, social distancing with Toronto doctors

Toronto Raptors' Serge Ibaka smiles at practice. (Frank Gunn/CP)

More than two weeks have passed since the NBA played its last game, but Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka has kept busy by posting frequently on social media.

After providing an inside look at his home gym and a demonstration of him loading the dishwasher, Ibaka returned Friday night to share a FaceTime call between him and a group of Toronto Public Health workers.

On the call, the health care professionals preached the importance of staying home, washing hands frequently, keeping a six-foot distance when possible and only leaving the house for essentials.

They also pointed out how Ibaka’s fascination with scarves can play a role in combating COVID-19.

“You say the scarf is for art, but I’m telling you that the scarf is actually part of public health,” Dr. Vinita Dubey said on the call.

Dubey explained that scarves can be used in lieu of surgical masks to cover one’s cough and prevent the spread of the virus, adding, “When you’re done, make sure you wash the scarf.”

“Okay,” Ibaka replied. “So I think (the scarf) is more than art. Health is always important, right?”

Ibaka asked how he and others can help in the challenging times brought on by this pandemic. The answer was simple: spread the word about staying home and staying clean.

“The more you can stay home and set a good example, and tell everybody that you’re actually doing that — especially someone like yourself and the entire Raptors organization — we know that that can make a huge difference on our population,” Dr. Eileen de Villa said.

Finally, Ibaka wrapped up the call by telling the health care professionals that he was sending them each a signed jersey. They responded with a cheer and a collective “Thank you.”

“No,” Ibaka said. “I’m the one that needs to thank you. Thank you for everything. And keep up the good work.”

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