Before the NBA season hit pause due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Serge Ibaka was enjoying a renaissance year for the Toronto Raptors, making an impact during his on-court minutes. He hasn’t let the absence of games stop him from being a difference-maker.
Ibaka gifted three massive scarves that will be auctioned off for charity to Toronto mayor John Tory, Matthew Pegg — Toronto’s fire chief who is leading the city’s response team for the COVID-19 pandemic — and Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city’s Medical Officer of Health.
“Thank you Serge Ibaka for your generosity and being a role model by staying home to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Dr. de Villa tweeted. “The scarf is more than art. We can use it when keeping six feet from others is difficult, like grocery shopping.”
The scarves will be auctioned off to raise funds for Greater Toronto United Way, a network of 270 community agencies that delivers local services and supports to help tackle poverty and related issues like hunger, homelessness, social isolation and mental health.
“Joined Matthew Pegg and Dr. Eileen de Villa in trying on these scarves courtesy of the great Serge Ibaka,” Tory tweeted. “Appreciate his support and the Raptors support in helping us get the message out that people need to #StayHomeTO to #FlattenTheCurve and save lives.”
It’s the latest instance of Ibaka finding ways to give back in these challenging times.
Earlier this month, Ibaka announced will be hosting a live talent show on Instagram called “How Talented Are You?” to provide a platform for fans to showcase their talents, with the winning contestant’s city receiving $20,000 for COVID-19 relief efforts — a sum that ex-Raptor DeMar DeRozan committed to matching during an Instagram Live chat with Ibaka.