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Suns' Bismack Biyombo Meets with Pope Francis to Discuss His Foundation's Work

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 21, 2022

AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

Phoenix Suns center Bismack Biyombo met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Tuesday to discuss humanitarian efforts in his native Congo.

Bismack Biyombo @bismackbiyombo

Wow, what a day! I can not put into words what a blessing it was being in the presence of Pope Francis. I wish my parents could be here to witness this, but I just know my mom is absolutely happy that I was able to do this and I know my father is beaming from above. Pope Francis <a href="https://t.co/eKYp1qpJnO">pic.twitter.com/eKYp1qpJnO</a>

Phoenix Suns @Suns

“Just being able to be in the presence of the pope, I think it’s a blessing."<br><br>Bismack Biyombo met with Pope Francis to talk about The Bismack Biyombo Foundation and humanitarian efforts benefiting people in the Democratic Republic of Congo. <a href="https://t.co/6p5T7tBIzR">pic.twitter.com/6p5T7tBIzR</a>

The pope had canceled a planned trip to the Congo and South Sudan for July because of a knee injury, but Biyombo still made sure the meeting took place.

"If he is not feeling good, he can't get on a plane," Biyombo told the Associated Press. "I think if he wouldn't go to Congo, I will bring the Congo to him."

The two met at the Vatican hotel, and Biyombo told the pope about his foundation.

The 29-year-old basketball player formed the Bismack Biyombo Foundation in 2016, which has provided scholarships and helped refurbish schools within the Congo. In March, he announced his entire 2021-22 salary ($1.3 million) would go toward building a hospital in honor of his late father.

Biyombo has spent 11 seasons in the NBA since being drafted seventh overall in 2011.

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