He's tall, strong and fluid for his size.
He's from the Congo, once lived in Spain, currently plays basketball in Oklahoma and has the last name Ibaka.
Well, he's probably not.
Meet Igor Ibaka, the 6-foot-8 power forward currently starring at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Miami.
Around these parts, his brother Serge is a headliner, averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Thunder. But in the northeast sector of the state, Igor, also averaging nearly a double-double, has begun to carve out a basketball name for himself.
“We get calls now,” NEO coach Dustin Grover said, noting interest from some Mountain West and Southland Conference teams. “People who are seeing him like him.”
Long-term, Igor, in his first year at the junior college level, doesn't project to be nearly the interior NBA force his brother has become. He's a bit less athletic, a couple inches shorter and much less polished than Serge was at the same age (21).
But much like Serge, Igor is using basketball as an avenue to better opportunities. And in a strange coincidence, with each route independent of the other, the siblings are doing it in the same American state, halfway across the world from where they were born and raised.
“It's crazy,” Igor said.
“It's great,” Serge added.
Serge's route to Oklahoma is simple. He was drafted by the NBA franchise that resides in OKC.
Igor's is a bit more complicated.
Last January, NEO brought in Uter Moukimou from a North Carolina prep school. On arrival, the Congo native asked Grover if he'd be interested in another post player, a friend he knew from back home.
“He asked if I knew Serge Ibaka,” Grover said. “And I'm like, ‘… Yeah' ”
Moukimou got Igor in contact with the NEO staff and, months later, the international paperwork was being hashed out.
Igor arrived at NEO in August and has immediately turned into “one of the best big men in our conference, if not this area,” according to Grover.
But off the court, the first few months have been a tougher adjustment, as is typical for international players.
In Spain, Igor lived in Madrid, a city with more than three million people. Now, he lives in rural Miami, a town of around 12,000.
“It's good … but it's boring,” Igor said through his improving English, which is his sixth-best language (behind Spanish, French, Catalan, Tshiluba, and Swahili).
“When you know that (many languages),” Grover said, “you can tell someone is intelligent.”
And despite the language barrier, Igor has connected with teammates. Point guard Derrick Frye, from Atlanta, called Igor a “cool dude” who loves to dance.
“Me and him got a lot of dances on Instagram and stuff like that,” Frye said.
And it helps to connect with a group of basketball players when you have a brother starring in the NBA.
“We play (NBA) 2K a lot,” Frye said. “I pick Miami, he picks OKC and he's always saying, ‘Serge, Serge, Serge, that's my brother'. That's all he wants to play with. Shoots with him every time. Last game, I think he had like 40 points with Serge. He'll give it to (Kevin) Durant every now and then, but you know it's going back to Serge.”
Igor and Serge were close growing up and have worked out together some the past couple offseasons (“He's a little shorter, but we have a similar game,” Serge said). But with busy and overlapping in-season schedules, neither gets much of an opportunity to see the other.
However, this past week, with a quick break for Thanksgiving, Igor was able to get down to Oklahoma City. They had a family feast on Thursday, and Igor got a courtside seat for Friday's wild Thunder win over the Warriors.
“It was good week,” Serge said. “Him down here, spending time, having fun, eating African food like always when we are together. It was good.”
Now, Serge hopes to get up to one of Igor's games to check out how Oklahoma's other basketball-playing Ibaka is developing on the court.
“He's really watching me, learning from me, seeing what I do and try to get it and put in his game,” Serge said. “I'm proud of him.”