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Congo Basketball

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a state in Central Africa and it is the third largest country in Africa in terms of area. It has a population of 71 million and the 18th most populous nation in the world and 4th in Africa.

There are few NBA players born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Basketball in Africa is very competitive and it has been a good scouting grounds for NBA teams because of the talents and physical abilities of the basketball athletes there.

They have their own governing body for men’s and women’s basketball and it is called the Democratic Republic of the Congo Basketball Federation(Febaco). It is affiliated with FIBA Africa.

The NBA players that are born in Democratic Republic of Congo are Christian Eyenga, Didier Ilunga-Mbenga and the future Hall-of-Famer Dikembe Mutombo.

Dikembe Mutombo or Dikembe Mutombo Mpolodo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo was born on June 25, 1966 and he is a retired Congolese American NBA player who played for the Denver Nuggets, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks and Houston Rockets.

He is the most famous congolese-born player and he is known for his defensive presence and his incredible ability to block. He has been a multiple NBA defensive player of the year in the years 1992, 1995 to 1998 and 2001. He is also an 8-time All-star(1992,1995-1998, 2000-2002) and multiple All defensive first team of the NBA in multiple years.

Mutombo stands 7 feet 2 inches tall and has a wide wingspan that gives him the advantage of blocking other players. He is recognized as one of the best post defenders of all time.

Didier Ilunga-Mbenga or popularly known as DJ Mbenga is a belgian – congolese professional NBA player. He played for Belgian National team though he was born in Kinshasa, Zaire. He is listed 7 foot tall and he is currently playing with the New Orleans Hornets.

His first season is with the Dallas Mavericks in 2004-2005 NBA Season. He continued the season with the Mavericks until 2005-2006 and after the season, Mbenga was a unrestricted free agent. He made $2 million a year for his contract extenstion with the Mavericks for three seasons. He played with the Golden State Warriors in 2007-2008 season and then he was signed by the Los Angeles Lakers with a 10 day contract but eventually signed for the rest of the season.

On June 14, 2009 Mbenga won his first NBA championship with the Los Angeles Lakers. In Los Angeles, he became popular and was nicknamed as Congo Cash. On October 13, 2010, the Hornets signed him in a one-year contract.

Christian Eyenga born on June 22, 1989 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, is a congolese NBA player playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the 30th pick of the 2009 NBA draft. When he was drafter, he played for the Spanish Second Division club Prat. He is 6 foot 5 inches tall and playing small forward or shooting guard position.



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