Bismack Biyombo stands beside the homemade goal and backboard where he learned to play basketball in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Biyombo is standing on top of a car in this picture -- the goal still stands. His father, Francois Biyombo, made the goal and said the neighbors thought he was "crazy" for doing so. (Photo courtesy of Bismack Biyombo)
The Charlotte Bobcats are in the midst of an awful season, one that may set historic lows in a lot of categories.
But one player I find fascinating is rookie Bismack Biyombo, the 19-year-old from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) who has traveled an unusual and circuitous path to become a Bobcat. I wrote a long profile column of him that can be found here.
The Bobcats are risking a lot on Biyombo -- they made a three-way trade to get him in June with the No.7 overall pick in the draft, giving up leading scorer Stephen Jackson in the process.
But Biyombo is very intriguing, not only for his 7-foot-7 wingspan but for his language fluency (he speaks four of them fluently), his family history (he is the eldest of seven children) and his basketball upside (Michael Jordan has compared him to a young, raw Hakeem Olajuwon).
And wouldn't you like to shoot a few on that basketball goal? I'd like to see how a bank shot works on it.