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Serge Ibaka donates Raptors ‘victory’ scarves to be auctioned off for United Way


TORONTO, ON., APRIL 12, 2020 – Yesterday, Toronto Raptors star Serge Ibaka, who has been extremely active daily on social media during the COVID-19 pandemic, donated some of the gigantic scarves that he gave to the team on a flight home from New York after the Raptors celebrated their 15th straight victory this season.

The popular Raps star donated three of the scarves as auction items to raise funds for the Greater Toronto United Way.

Ibaka often refers to his own fashion stylings, particularly his giant scarf choices as his “art.”

After receiving the donation, Dr, Eileeen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, also famous for wearing bright coloured scarves said, “The scarf is more than art. We can use it when keeping 6 ft from others is difficult, like grocery shopping.”

Dr. de Villa tweeted out a thank you to Serge Ibaka for his generosity and for being a role model to Torontonians by staying home to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Meanwhile Mayor John Tory along with Toronto Fire Services Chief Matthew Pegg and Toronto Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa took a selfie physical distancing while wearing the gigantic scarves in the lobby of City Hall.

Mayor Tory thanked the “great Serge Ibaka” saying that they, “appreciate his support & the @Raptors support in helping us get the message out that people need to #StayHomeTO to #FlattenTheCurve & save lives.

Serge Ibaka responded to Dr. de Villa’s tweet agreeing that, “This is more than art for sure!!

And he tweeted to Mayor Tory, “We are all in this together, Mayor.”

The 7-foot (2.13 m) tall Raptors star, is a global ambassador for the Canadian fashion company Nobis, who designed the donated matching fuzzy, orange-and-green camouflage print scarves (retailing for $250 each). Ibaka had handed them out to team mates during the Raptors’ flight from Minneapolis to Brooklyn, New York, on Feb. 11.

Photo posted to @raptors twitter account features team members donning the scarves on the flight home from Brooklyn on February 11, 2020. Three of the scarves have been donated to be auctioned off by the United Way.

The gigantic 6-foot-long scarves were also given to the coaching staff, as well as the team’s trainers, doctors and PR team.

At the time, Ibaka told ESPN that the point of the scarves “is just to create good vibes on the team.” “We need that. We have been playing so well — it is always important to keep that chemistry and that joy in the locker room.

“To me, it was the perfect moment to do that,” said Ibaka.

The scarves will be auctioned off to raise funds for Greater Toronto United Way, a network of 270 community agencies that delivers local services and supports to help tackle poverty and related issues like hunger, homelessness, social isolation and mental health. No date is set for the auction yet.

Yesterday as well as Sunday, Ibaka hosts a live talent show on Instagram called “How Talented Are You?” for fans to showcase their talents. The winning contestant’s cities will be receiving $20,000 for COVID-19 relief efforts.

“In the end, the @IbakaFoundation will donate $20,000 to help combat COVID-19 in the ultimate winner’s city or region,” Ibaka said, stating that the winner will also receive a signed #9 Ibaka jersey.

Meanwhile, former Raptors star DeMar DeRozan also committed to matching the prize during an Instagram Live chat with Serge Ibaka and ex-Raptor Kawhi Leonard.

story by Terry Lankstead

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