NBA star donates $1m to fight Covid-19 in DR Congo

Thursday April 16 2020

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In this file photo taken on December 11, 2019 Bismack Biyombo #8 of the Charlotte Hornets reacts during the second half of their game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center in New York City. Biyombo has donated $1 million in surgical masks and hazardous materials suits through his charity to his native DR Congo. PHOTO | EMILEE CHINN |  AFP 

By AFP

LOS ANGELES,

Charlotte Hornets player Bismack Biyombo has donated $1 million in surgical masks and hazardous materials suits through his charity to his native DR Congo.

The supplies include four containers filled with 10,000 face masks and 780 protective hazmat suits to help in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's battle against the worldwide new coronavirus, The Bismack Biyombo Foundation announced on Wednesday.

"We have never experienced a crisis of this magnitude. Seeing my home country suffer in this capacity is devastating," said Biyombo.

"I've spent the last few weeks trying to figure out a way to help those suffering in the DRC. I am pleased to announce that The Bismack Biyombo Foundation delivered over 10,000 masks and 780 hazmat suits to the DRC this week.

"Thank you to all of those who are at the front line of the Covid-19 pandemic."

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Biyombo said it was important to get the much needed medical equipment there as quickly as possible because the DRC's health system has been decimated in recent years by several other disease outbreaks including Ebola and Malaria which like Covid-19 are spread human-to-human.

So far there have been 254 cases of the virus in the DRC with 21 deaths, according to the Baltimore, Maryland-based Johns Hopkins University.

In 53 games with the Hornets this season, Biyombo has averaged a career-high 7.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. He has started 29 of those games and has been used in a variety of offensive and defensive roles.

Biyombo will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

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