It's not weird in any way to see athletes dating people like actresses or singers. It's actually kind of a rule of thumb. The most famous athletes usually date other celebrities, and that has been how the world has always worked. Nevertheless, when someone joins the fold of celebrities, they have to decide whether they would like to follow the usual path everyone else does, or if they want to do things their own way.
American singer and songwriter Keri Hilson was someone who wanted to do things her own way. According to an interview, she gave not too long ago, Hilson had set a goal for her career. Better yet, she had made a list of “not to dos.” That is something every celebrity should think of making, but we know the ones who will do something like this are rare. Inside that list, Hilson put the idea of people she would refuse to date. Those included rappers, actors, and ballplayers. The reasons for that are very simple; she didn’t want to be that woman who everyone thought was solely attracted to someone else’s money.
As fate would have it, she ended up breaking that rule and started dating NBA player Serge Ibaka, a relationship that lasted years. She thought Ibaka was different from the other guys, she thought she had found the exception, and maybe she did. Unfortunately, however, the relationship unavoidably met its end. But we are sure Serge still misses his former paramour. That being said, we separated a list of 15 photos of Keri Hilson that would drive Serge Ibaka insane.
15 Shot Blocka
While a lot of us are here just for the pictures, we decided to fill you in on how the relationship between these two was, and talk a little bit about them as individuals. After all, these are two fascinating people when you look at a background and career standpoint. Starting off with Serge Ibaka, NBA fans should already know where this 6'10" power forward hails from because of his nickname. A force to be reckoned with on the defensive end of the floor, Ibaka earned the nickname “Air Congo.”
Do you need any proof? Just check out the guy’s stats from his time as a player in Oklahoma City. Although his blocks stats are way down in recent seasons, he led the league in blocked shots in two consecutive seasons with 3.7 blocks per game in 2011-12 and 3.0 blocks per game in 2012-13.
14 Georgia Girl
Keri Hilson might not be from such a unique place like the Congo, but she is a proud singer from Decatur, Georgia. Have you ever heard of that town? Well, don’t worry, because most of us had not heard of it either.
The city Hilson hails from is a small 4.2 square-mile town in northern Georgia. When we say small, we really mean it. The estimated population of Decatur in 2016 was nothing more than 22,813 people. Not the kind of place you would imagine a singer who became as successful as Hilson coming from. If anything, learning a little bit about her town should inspire a lot of people who are from places like these. Never give up on your dreams, you might become a world-famous singer one day.
13 Falling For A Man Of Culture
While you could walk into an NBA locker room and still find guys who can barely speak English, Serge Ibaka is someone who veers very far from the norm. Born in Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo, Ibaka learned several languages during his life, and before we get into that, let’s remember that this guy is still only 28 years old.
The first language he learned was Lingala, a language mostly spoken in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Together with that, he learned French, which is the country’s official language. As he grew older, Serge also learned English. But the interesting story is about how he learned Spanish. While still a teenager, Ibaka moved to Spain in order to play pro basketball and had to teach himself the language. This interesting background is likely what attracted a woman like Hilson.
12 A Charitable Woman
Does anyone remember that song by Keri Hilson and Akon? The name of the song was “Oh Africa.” What many people probably don’t know was that the hit song was actually one of the most selfless acts in music in recent years. All the proceeds that the single earned went towards benefiting unprivileged African kids and teenagers. That's right; in an industry where everyone wants the money, it is rare to see musicians making a song that will only benefit other people.
That, however, is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Keri Hilson and her philanthropic endeavors. The woman is literally everywhere when it comes to helping other people. Don’t worry; we will delve deeper into that a little later. After all, we need to prove to you that she is not only a beautiful woman but an amazing one. If only Ibaka had realized that in time…
11 A Charitable Man
Well, Hilson sure got the attention of the police officers here, but there used to be only one man whose attention she sought.
We are sure one of the things that attracted Keri Hilson to Serge Ibaka was the fact that he is also someone who dedicates a lot of his time to charity. You can say whatever you want about Ibaka, but one thing no one can say about this guy is that he doesn’t care about his country and his people. The amount of help Ibaka has given the young people of the Congo is not something that should be overlooked.
The best example to prove all that Ibaka does is the work of the Serge Ibaka Foundation. Partnered with several other charitable organizations, Ibaka and his foundation have a noble mission of contributing to raising awareness and helping develop a better life for young kids through areas like education, health, and nutrition.
10 Keri Still Wins Though
It is hard to compare someone’s philanthropic endeavors to another person’s, but if we consider the sheer amount of charitable organizations and events Keri Hilson aids and participates in, it is tough to find someone who can match how prolific she is.
We already told you about that one song dedicated to helping unprivileged African youth, but there were also shows she performed in to help the victims of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010. She was a key part of Michelle Obama’s campaign to combat childhood obesity in 2011. Also in 2011, she was the ambassador of MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation, an organization that has the aim to raise awareness and prevent the spread of the HIV virus and the subsequent development of AIDS.
9 The Biggest Surprise
Nothing in Serge Ibaka’s life seems to be what many people would call typical. Perhaps the best way to talk about that is mentioning how this guy developed the amazing relationship he has with his daughter. That happens to be a daughter Serge had no idea he had until he was already an NBA star.
The story here is that Ibaka’s old girlfriend from the Congo got pregnant right as he got the chance to play professionally in Europe. To protect his son and let him follow his dream, Serge’s father decided not to tell his son he had a daughter. Not your usual story, right?
Luckily, everything ended well, and Serge has finally met his daughter and seems to love her more than anything. He managed to bring her over to the States, and they live a happy life together.
8 Movie Star
Like many famous singers, Keri Hilson did not keep her career exclusive to music. We do understand that in many ways. Could you imagine having the chance to star in a Hollywood movie and say no? We certainly couldn’t.
It turns out Hilson is just like us, and she decided to go along with the projects she was pitched. So far, her filmography includes three films that hit the theaters and one television film. There was Think Like a Man in 2012, Riddick in 2013, and Almost Christmas in 2016. None of them were massive box office hits, but they all turned a profit in the end, so we would call that a win in Hollywood these days. Oh yeah, we haven’t had a chance to watch the television film, but it was released in 2017 and is called Love By The 10th Date.
7 His Awards
One of the peculiarities when we get couples where one of the two people is an athlete and the other one is a celebrity, is that we can compare the amount of awards they receive. At the end of the day, awards are still the best way to gauge how good a person is at what they do. When it comes to Serge Ibaka, he does have some awards that show very well what he has done throughout his eight-year career in the NBA. Serge was never an MVP candidate, but he is someone who always excelled at what his coach wanted from him. A testament to that is that Ibaka is one of the few players who was named to the NBA All-Defensive team on three different occasions.
6 Her Awards
Go out there. You have a job to do--use your gift to touch someone's heart. Doesn't matter if your applause is a roar or a whisper. There are always obstacles and curveballs thrown. Give your all anyway. Critics will talk because that's all they dreamt of being...talkers. You just make sure you leave your heart out there then take the bag of coins you earned and prance on home. Love, Keri.
We said that Hilson beats her former boyfriend when it comes to the amount of charity she does. Well, the same could be said when the subject is awards each of them has won. In terms of nominations, her track record is quite impressive. If we count every single award Hilson ran for in the music industry; she has nothing less than 23 nominations that came between 2007 and 2011.
Out of those 23 nominations, she managed to snag six victories. While each and every single award someone wins in the music industry is impressive, the ones that pop to the eye when it comes to Hilson are the 2009 BET Award For Best New Artist, the MOBO Award for Best R&B/Soul Act that same year, as well as the 2010 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding New Artist.
5 The End
Ever since their breakup, Keri Hilson has given interviews talking about what went wrong for the relationship to sour, since the two of them seemed to make such a great couple. It turns out that while she said there were problems within the relationship, one of the biggest issues she said led her to learn a lesson she will not forget for future relationships is how to deal with the media.
“I will make different decisions in future relationships. When you put things on Front Street, it opens the door for opinions,” she said to Rolling Out. “It opens the door for wolves to attack. I certainly have been placed in that position where things have been written about me as it pertains to relationships that are so far from the truth. To me, that’s a personal attack.”
4 Relationship And Career Don’t Mix
We all know that there are artists who use their personal relationships to create commercial and artistic products (cough, cough, Taylor Swift). When you look at it from the artist’s perspective, it seems like a great way to get inspiration. That is especially true if your work has to do with talking about love and heartbreak and things like that. On the other hand, just imagine being the other person in this whole thing.
It cannot be easy to go out to a club and hear a song that you know was made about you, painting you in a bad light. Luckily for Serge Ibaka, Keri Hilson is one of those artists who does not like using her personal relationships to write songs. So, if you want to know what happened for these two to break up, her songs are not the answer.
3 National Team
One of the most interesting things about Serge Ibaka is that despite being born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and loving his home country, he decided to play international basketball for Spain. It does make some sense. After all, Spain was where he really found himself in the basketball world, and it was the platform that allowed him to appear in front of NBA scouts.
We don’t know if he would still have made it into the NBA, but it’s impossible to deny that Spain helped him achieve that goal. He was granted Spanish citizenship in 2011, and the country’s basketball fans could not be happier because that same year he helped the national team win the Eurobasket 2011. He also won the silver medal with the Spanish national team in the 2012 Olympics.
2 Let’s Talk Money
The year was '09. It finally happened for me. 9 years after my first record deal with a girl group. 8 years into a successful songwriting career...it happened...6 years ago today I picked my first album up off the shelf of Best Buy, and I wanted to cry. That was the day I could physically touch the dream...a life-long vision. Cut to: an RIAA certified Gold record, 2 Grammy nominations, 2 AMA nominations, 1 BET Award, 2 Soul Train Awards, a MOBO Award, and an NAACP Award...on my very first album. Not to mention the ways I was able to touch lives thru my music and charitable endeavors. Reflecting on the birth of my dream. Happy 6th Birthday "In A Perfect World." 🎈 #KeriKrew
If you had to choose between the two, who would you say is the richest between Serge Ibaka and Keri Hilson? The right answer is… Hilson.
Yes, not even eight years in the NBA are enough to put you ahead of an international singing star when it comes to net worth. That being said, Serge Ibaka is still by far one of the richest guys in the NBA when you count out the superstars. His net worth is estimated at about $12 million. However, that number is sure to go up very soon. Ibaka just signed a three-year contract with the Toronto Raptors worth $65 million. To put it all in perspective, how do you think a young Serge, still living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, would react if someone from the future just stopped by his house and told him one day he would sign a contract worth more than $20 million a year?
1 The Richest
She might not be the richest singer in the world, but Keri Hilson sure was the richest party in the couple when she and Serge Ibaka were together. While a guy who has been in the NBA for eight years and is, by all intents and purposes, a perennial All-Star has a net worth of $12 million, Hilson is worth something north of $25 million. Yeah, that is a lot of money. But given everything else we talked about on this list, we can safely say that Hilson is not one of those people we think did not deserve the money they have.
First, she has always been a talented singer who even received awards for her performances. But more than that, we have to remember that a lot of her money and time go to helping other people. And we are sure that is one of the many things Serge Ibaka misses since their breakup.