CNN  — 

Bismack Biyombo will donate his NBA seasonal salary to build a hospital in his native Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and honor his late father, the Phoenix Suns star said Friday.
The 29-year-old returned to the NBA in January, signing a contract for the duration of the season with the Suns having not played since the close of the 2020-21 campaign last fall. According to the Spotrac website, Biyombo’s contract with the Suns is worth $1.3 million.

Biyombo had been a free agent after leaving the Charlotte Hornets but took time away from the sport to care, and then grieve, for his father Francis.

Now back on the court, Biyombo’s sole mission is to dedicate his season to his father’s memory – channeled through his performances and the efforts of his Bismack Biyombo Foundation.

“I think once my Dad passed, the love of the game kind of fell a little bit because he was my everything – my friend, my business partner, my mentor and everything,” Biyombo said in a video posted to the foundation’s Youtube channel.

“I wanted to make this year about my Dad because my Dad spent most of his life making his life about me, my brothers, my sisters and servicing people.”

Biyombo spent 45 days with his father, first in Congo and then, after organizing a transfer, in Turkey before he died at the age of 61 in August 2021.

In an interview with Andscape last month, Biyombo said his dad had been diagnosed with Covid in July 2021. He recovered but Covid created other health complications.

Biyombo in action for the Hornets April 14, 2021.

Donning the number 18 jersey for the Suns in honor of his father’s June 18 birthday, Biyombo said that the donation of his wages to the building of the hospital – to be named after Francis – would consolidate his legacy whilst helping those in need back home.

Like Father, like Suns

“I told my agent my salary for this year would be going to the construction of a hospital back home to give hope to the hopeless at home and those individuals that cannot take their family members out,” Biyombo said.

“I want to be able to give them better conditions so that they can somewhat have hope that their loved ones will be able to live and see another day.

“I wanted to give them something that would continue to service people under his name,” Biyombo added.

Biyombo, in his #18 jersey, drives to the basket against the Detroit Pistons on January 16, 2022.

During the early stages of the pandemic in 2020, Biyombo’s foundation delivered almost $1 million worth of medical equipment across the DRC, according to an interview with Time magazine.

To this point the foundation has refurbished hospitals and ensured the smooth running of facilities in the DRC, as well as training staff, but now Biyombo wants to go one step beyond.

“We’re just trying to make sure we can save as many lives as we can,” Biyombo said.

“I’ve seen how people try to survive daily in the Congo. I thought we were doing enough by refurbishing hospitals and clinics but I think it’s time we go a little bigger by building something that will service people, hopefully for generations.”