Phoenix Suns' Bismack Biyombo on helping home country: 'We must go towards our communities'

·3 min read
Mar 27, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, United States;  Phoenix Suns center Bismack Biyombo (18) throws his arms up after a foul against the Philadelphia 76ers during the third quarter at Footprint Center.
Mar 27, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, United States; Phoenix Suns center Bismack Biyombo (18) throws his arms up after a foul against the Philadelphia 76ers during the third quarter at Footprint Center.

Phoenix Suns big man Bismack Biyombo, who last month signed a one-year, $2.9 million deal to remain with the team, has been providing a travelogue of sorts on his Twitter account, showing his efforts to assist people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, his home country.

The 6-8, 255-pound Biyombo was picked up by the Suns last Jan. 1 under a 10-day contract, but later was signed for the remainder of the season as a backup to Deandre Ayton and JaVale McGee, who has since signed with Dallas.

MORE: Why JaVale McGee didn't wait for Ayton, Durant deals to sign with Mavs

During his time with Phoenix, Biyombo has emerged as a fan favorite who has been outspoken about the challenges facing his native country and his desire to help. After being given the contract for the remainder of last season, Biyombo said he would use his salary to help build a hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Biyombo appeared in 36 games with the Suns last season, averaging 14 minutes, 5.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. He averaged a little less than 10 minutes in nine playoff game appearances, along with 2.8 points and 2.1 rebounds.

MORE: Biyombo reflects on new contract, Game 7 loss

During the past week, Biyombo has posted several videos and comments about efforts to assist people in his home country, including the region around Goma, about which he specifically commented with a video posted Wednesday.

"We are always told don't go to Goma, there's a war, there was Ebola, a volcano erupted,'' he said. "This region has suffered and continues to suffer but guess what? They are the most resilient people you can ever meet — we are here and we'll continue to come every year!''

On Aug. 7, he posted a video featuring children in Kinshasa, the country's capitol and largest city.

On Wednesday, Biyombo posted a series of Tweets that talked more about his reasons for going to the country.

"We must go towards our communities, don’t wait for them to come to us — they may never make it to us or reach us!,' he said in the thread of posts.  "I can’t express how grateful I am to be able to be around these amazing communities and more than anything being able to meet the displaced families that will benefit from these houses we are building since the eruption of the volcano. Whoever donated towards the construction of these houses- I just want to say thank you, to our partners supporting our ideas and dreams thank you.''

He added Wednesday that his final visit would be to the city of Lubumbashi and encouraged support for his efforts via his foundation at biyombofoundation.org.  After last season ended, Biyombo met with Pope Francis at the Vatican to discuss his foundation's humanitarian efforts.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Suns' Bismack Biyombo assists people in Democratic Republic of Congo